Anyone alive and old enough to be conscious of what was happening remembers where they were on September 11, 2001, when they heard that we were being attacked. For Generation X the Millennial Generation (I am a member of both since 1980 is the overlap), 9/11 is what Pearl Harbor was for the Greatest Generation and JFK's assassination was for the Baby Boomers.
I was a junior in college, eating cereal in a bedroom I shared with two other guys in my fraternity house. I was a couple years into my first youth ministry job, so I spent quite a bit of time processing the events with middle and high schoolers as well as my college peers.
Preachers have to come up with ten to fifteen minutes of new material every single week, so how I process and reflect on many issues usually ends up in sermons in one way or another. How I have reflected on 9/11 and the many issues it brings up is no exception, so instead of writing a lengthy post, I will simply share two messages where I share some of these reflections.
The first one, "The Renewed Creation" was part of a series on Romans. The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks happened to be on a Sunday, and the events were at the forefront of everyone's mind that morning. We reflected how God's sanctifying grace draws us out of being primarily self centered into reflecting on God's other-centered love.
The second message, "Terror and Resurrection", was shared the Sunday following the Boston Marathon bombings. That week also saw the manhunt that killed one of the bombers playing out on live TV, and a huge chemical plant explosion in Texas. The senselessness of violence and death was very much on everyone's minds, much like on 9/11. We reflected on how, in the face of terror and senseless violence, followers of Jesus witness to the God who enters into our suffering and breaks the power of death, claiming "Resurrection" as the last word.
How do you remember the events of twelve years ago today? Where were you that day? How have your memories changed over time?