Devotions: Monday, September 11, 2006
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:8-12
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. For
“Those who desire life
and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
and their lips from speaking deceit;
let them turn away from evil and do good;
let them seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (nrsv)
Each one of us, I know, will find ourselves reflecting, pondering, wondering, praying today on this anniversary of 9/11. Our faith, our church, our precious traditions have sustained us these past five years. They have continued to deepen our understanding and show us how God is present in every circumstance, even dreadful events, with creative and life-giving love.
Our mothers and fathers in the faith, in the early Christian church, lived with the constant threat of persecution, imprisonment, death. Letters circulated among those separate tiny communities, extending love, encouragement, and hope. The words might have been written to us on September 11: “Have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing.”
As we continue to struggle with how best to respond to what happened to us, may those of us who have staked our lives on One who was and is “light shining in darkness” remember our vocation: to show the world something of God’s purposes--“unity, sympathy, love, tenderness, humility, blessing.”
Dear God, I bring to you all that is in my heart today: all the anguish and anger, all the fear, all the love for my country and my hope for the future. I commend to your eternal love all the victims and to your care their families and friends. I pray for our leaders, for the women and men of our armed forces, and for all the people of the world. I pray for peace: the peace of the world, peace in my nation, and peace in my heart. O God, help me this day to know and to demonstrate something of your presence, your love and your intent for a world characterized by sympathy, tenderness, humility, and blessing. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Written by John Buchanan, Pastor
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