September 11, 2001, was one of those pivotal days in the history of the United States of America. As with the day Pearl Harbor was bombed (Dec 7, 1941) and the day President Kennedy was assassinated (Nov 22, 1963), everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first learned of the events of 9/11. We could add any number of pivotal days to this list – the first day of the pandemic shut-down in the US (March 15, 2020), the insurrection at the US Capitol (Jan 6, 2021). Other countries could add to the list: Victory in Europe Day (May 8, 1945), the bombing of Hiroshima (August 6, 1945), the start of the war in Ukraine (Feb 24, 2022), the passing of Queen Elizabeth II (September 8, 2022).
There is now a generation of American adults who were born after the events of 9/11/2001. They are already 21 years old, and they have no memory of that event. Even adults who are 26 or 27 would have only vague memories, if any at all. Their list of pivotal days would be different – they would most likely include school shootings at Columbine High (April 20, 1999), Virginia Tech (April 16, 2007), Sandy Hook Elementary (December 14, 2012), Marjory Stoneman Douglas High (Feb 14, 2018), and Robb Elementary (May 24, 2022).
These pivotal days forever divide our lives and our society’s consciousness into before and after. When these days happen, our worldview shifts permanently, sometimes for the better, more often for the worse. We suddenly feel that the world is no longer the same place we have always known it to be. But, in spite of our feelings, the world goes on, day by day, and time passes.
As followers of Christ we are called to live in hope, not in despair. We are called to remember days of loss and yet also live toward days of celebration. Our faith reminds us that we once were lost but now are found. Our faith points us toward God’s amazing grace that holds us still!
I look forward to celebrating with you again on Sunday!