September 11 – Twenty Years Later

Today marks 20 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Washington D.C. that have defined so much of our lives for two decades. We continue to mourn the lives that were taken, as well as those who gave their lives to protect the safety of others.

As we remember this day, we mourn for a world in which extremism–both religious and political–devalues the lives of others who are different. We recognize the role that our nation and others played in creating a situation in the Middle East in which political rage and religious fundamentalism could come together with such deadly results.

And finally, we look back on how these events changed us, and not for the better. In the name of an unattainable national security we became suspicious of our neighbors, embraced nativism and xenophobia, and embarked on an unending war on terrorism in which we sacrifice lives today to give meaning to the lives we’ve sacrificed before, so that “their sacrifices won’t be in vain.”

On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, it’s hard to know how to pray. We lift a prayer of grief. We lift a prayer of confession. We lift a prayer of hope for a different tomorrow. We pray that we would be the agents of peace and reconciliation that Jesus Christ–the Prince of Peace–has called us to be.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.