Pastor's Corner

11 Sep
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Mid-Week Challenge

For some of us it is hard to believe that it has been 18 years since the terrorists attacked our country on September 11, 2001. The attack on the World Trade Center left 2,753 people killed.  At the Pentagon, 184 people were killed. Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, forty passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 93 died when the airplane crashed into a field. According to reports, as of July 2019, only 60 percent of the WTC victims’ remains have been positively identified.  The loss of life did not end on that day.  Twenty-three New York Police Department first responders were killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, but 241 members of the NYPD so far have died of 9/11-related illnesses. While 343 members of the Fire Department of New York died in the attack, 202 FDNY members so far have died of illnesses related to their service on September 11 or in the immediate aftermath.  

Eighteen years and we continue to be impacted by the events of that day. It changed the way we travel, how we think about the world and how we relate to our government leaders.  What lessons did we learn?  What have we been able to teach to the next generation? We experienced a tremendous rise in church attendance but it wasn’t but a few months later that we saw those numbers return to their previous place.  I suppose the greatest lesson we should have learned is that life is unpredictable. Even with all the planning in the world, life can be snatched from us in a moment.  We think we have it all planned out, every angle covered and then the unexpected happens.  When we see September 11on the calendar we should be reminded that we have very little control of the events in our life.  With the awareness of this reality we should be living our lives with a greater awareness and purpose for the Lord.  Jim Denison does a great job explaining this in his article 9/11 and the Illusion of Control: Living for What Matters Most.

The Bible tells us “be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). Today we honor those who lost their life on that day.  We remember those who continue to battle health issues due to their heroic work to save others 18 years ago.  It should not take another world changing event to remind us of who is in control.  Instead, we should live our life with the knowledge we have gained.  Serve the Lord with gladness and seek to bring as many as possible to Jesus with the time we have remaining.  We might not know what tomorrow holds, but we do know who holds the future.   

 You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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