11 Meditations on the 11th Anniversary of 9/11
The eleventh anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, will evoke deep emotional memories for all of us. While these memories can be difficult to bear, we are not left without comfort and hope. Here are 11 thoughts and meditations from the Bible and other sources that remind us of this truth.
Eugene Peterson, in his introduction to the Book of Lamentations, writes of the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E: "The worst that can happen to body and spirit, to person and nation, happened here – a nadir of suffering."
"And throughout the world the suffering continues, both in large-scale horrors and in personal agonies."
"Lord, remember everything that has happened to us. See all the sorrows we bear. The joy of our hearts has ended; our dancing has turned to mourning." (Lamentations 5:1, 15)
"There is nothing more human or more divine about us than our longing to touch and hold on to each other." (Eugene Kennedy)
Anna Quindlen writes of 9/11 that "even those nominally untouched by the events, a continent away, were shaken deep inside and began to think deeply, persistently, of . . . how precious is the casually handled gift of life."
"Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days;
Let me know how fleeting my life is." (Psalm 39:4)
"When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence."
"Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear." (Lamentations 3:28-29, The Message)
We pray for all whose lives were affected on that day: for those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, for those who struggle to recover physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially.
"God is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18)
We hold in prayer the selfless women and men who bravely served as first responders, those who bravely serve in our Armed Forces, for all of these who have died or have been wounded.
"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me….For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears."
(Lamentations 1:12, 16)
"God, we confess that we cannot make sense of the violence inflicted by your children on one another. But even more than understanding, we ask for the strength to be peacemakers, servants of your will for reconciliation."
"God, be our strength, and may we feel your loving touch today and always." (Michael Kinnamon)
We lift our prayers for better understanding among all people, especially Christian-Muslim relations.
"Help us bring an end to war as we work for peace with justice in ways that are peaceful.
Move in our hearts to lead us to that place of radical generosity and love." (UCC Worship Ways)
"True religion never adds pain where pain already overflows. Its gleaning is of understanding, forgiveness, and comfort."
"Why have we, of all created beings, been given words if not to speak on behalf of all creation that, St. Paul tells us, groans and cries in expectation of deliverance?" (Eugene Kennedy)
"Let us engage in prayer that we might have that kind of courage. . ."
"...prayer that includes listening deeply and patiently for God to guide our thoughts and actions along the pathways to a just peace, healing of the human heart and reconciliation." (Geoffrey Black)
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives."
"Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." (John 14:27)