Kick-Off Rally & Remembering

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

– I Timothy 1:15-16

How do you think God sees you?  Paul saw himself as “the worst of sinners” and yet, because of his failures and sins, God showed mercy and grace to an enormous extent.  He called this a display of Christ Jesus’ “unlimited patience”.  Unlimited patience sounds too good to be true.  In the Bible we read God’s “love endures forever” (Psalm 136).

My patience, unfortunately, has limits.  I may even call myself “the worst of sinners” as I also resonate with the display of God’s mercy, grace, and patience in my life.  What a blessing it is to know that God’s love endures forever.  Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:37-39

As we worship together this September 11th, we remember the tragedy of violence and terrorism in our world.  May we also know that God’s steadfast love endures forever.  May we feel God’s presence and proclaim from the depth of our souls that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Powerful God, our refuge and our strength, we turn to you for peace and security as we recall the 9/11 attack. We thank you for the bravery and the sacrifice of those who saved lives as firefighters, rescue crews, or people aboard United 93.

Comfort and strengthen the family and friends of those who died. Give healing and patience to the survivors of the attacks who are living with continued physical or psychological pain. May those who survived feel gratitude, not guilt. Assure each person whose life changed forever of your protection and strength. Dispel the nightmares; silence the anxiety. May we learn to depend on the security you offer.

We pray for your peace as we remember the terrorism attacks of 9/11. May our suffering from these attacks awaken in us an awareness of the pain and fear that so many around the world live with each day. May we know how to pray for those who struggle against oppression and injustice. As we hear of terrorist activity around the world, quiet our fears. Heal the wounded of these attacks, and help their families and friends rest in your security.

Guide the choices of our world leaders. Give them wisdom and discernment not only as they work to resolve the lasting effects of these attacks but also as they try to alleviate terror of all sorts-from genocide to hunger, from drought to bombings. May their actions bring your peace to all the people of the world.

Gracious God, our world changed with the 9/11 attacks. We have seen how easily buildings can fall and how quickly lives can end. As we remember 9/11, may it remind us that you are our only true security. Give us your strength to face the memory of this attack and the changes it made in our lives. Give us your compassion to help each other and recognize needs around the world. Give us your hope as we face an uncertain future. Give us your peace.  In the strong name of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit,  Amen.

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