Sunday, September 11, 2011


by Stephen L, Dunn

I came across this quote from William Willimon, Dean of the Chapel at Duke University.
"September 11 has changed me. I’m going to preach as never before about Christ crucified as the answer to the question of what’s wrong with the world. I have also resolved to relentlessly reiterate from the pulpit that the worst day in history was not a Tuesday in New York, but a Friday in Jerusalem when a consortium of clergy and politicians colluded to run the world on our own terms by crucifying God’s own Son.”

A whole lot of us went to our pulpits earlier today to reflect on the event of September 11, 2001.  In my own case, I was just six days into the pastorate of the Church of God of Landisville.  Sunday the 9th had been my first official day in that pulpit. A lot has happened to me (and to the church) in the past ten years but that's for another blog post at another time.
The devastated Twin Towers - September 11, 2001
In preparation for this Sunday I have been doing a lot of reading and viewing of the events of that day and the impact on the persons who experienced it at close hand.  I have viewed videos of the politicians, preachers, and pundits who pontificated, prayed, and pronounced following the history-shattering events of that day.

Most of the polls that I have come across do not indicate that people feel they are safer now than ten years ago. More of them are now aware of the Islamic concept of  jihad, but few really know what that means.  It is difficult to claim that we are winning the war against terrorism.  Islamic extremists continue to plot our demise and we are still the immoral West even to the middle class Muslims who work alongside us.

The truth is that we do not require a religio-political terrorist to make this world a difficult, dangerous and fearful place.  I live in a region that has experienced an earthquake, hurricane and "flood of the century" all in the last twenty days.  And many in the Midwest, deep South and even New England have known the terror of the tornado that arrives unexpectedly and viciously in the midst of any ordinary day.

Tornado striking Joplin MO

I serve a church where good, hard-working people have lost jobs despite what the administration says, too many people are out of work and the jobs that have been created hardly allow people to earn a living.  Let them have a medical crisis and they may be bankrupt even if the insurance they were able to get is already bankrupting them with ridiculously high deductibles.  We have an economy that seems to grow worse as the deficits become even more untenable.  As a result, all people and our nation find that we are having to do without precious benefits like an education, bridges that are safe, mental health counseling, libraries, and any semblance of a family life.

The people we send to Washington or Harrisburg or what ever locale of legislature spend more time maneuvering, pontificating, and condemning than they do governing and uniting us as a nation.  We do not need terrorists to destroy our world or rob us of our peace and joy.  We seem more than capable to accomplish this on our own.

Our trouble is that we focus on policy, political power, economic security, military might, intelligence assessments, and human altruism to bring us peace.  These have proven to be inadequate foundations and only temporary solutions for Planet Earth and its people.  In Matthew 7, Jesus tells this parable which provides the real lesson to be gleaned from 9-11 and its aftermath.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7.24-27 New International Version)

Fear will only be banished, peace will only arrive, true freedom will only be experienced when the sons of men allow the Son of God to transform their lives.  Life change from within is where it must begin.  Foundations that endure must be built upon the Rock--Jesus Christ.

(C) 2011 by Stephen L Dunn

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1 comment:

  1. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..