Sunday, September 11, 2016

Devotion 9.12.16

The dust had just begun to settle as firefighters desperately dug through twisted iron and steel.  The fires were still burning and the hope among families still existed on finding some sign of life in the rubble formerly known as the Twin Towers.  The magnitude of what happened still had not quite sunken in on that day.

Fortunately, most news from that time still came via television with the Internet still in its infancy, and things like "smart phones" and "social media" were still non-existent.  I say fortunately because it was possible to walk away from it and not get on things like "Facebook" or other apps to be bombarded during quiet times.

We were gathering in our churches and praying, in mass.  We were talking to each other across fences, calling long distances or emailing to see how others felt.  We were even in places like the store or a restaurant talking to people we didn't know about what had happened.  The nation was on alert and for the first time ever, every plane in the US, and those who would  be bound to the US, were on the ground.  Chills went down our spines as we realized that our military had orders to shoot any rogue planes not responding to the orders to land, which may include hundreds of innocent lives.

That was the day after 9/11.  That day changed our perspective and we still deal with the impact of that day in our every day lives (even as we stand in line at Texas Tech games and get our clear bags searched and our caps removed which until 9/11 was almost non-existent).

What does Christ tell us about all of this?  He does speak to us in Matthew, chapter 24, when he speaks of the "war and rumors of war." "And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet...All these are the beginning of the birth pains." (6 - 8)

So what do we do if this is just the beginning, the birth pains?  Christ again answers that later in Matthew 25 when he delivers the parable of the Ten Virgins, a parable of preparation.  How are we to be prepared?  In the parable, he speaks of five who kept their lamps oiled and wicks trimmed for the day the groom returned and five who stood when he finally arrived and asked for help from the five prepared, only to find they were locked out.  How are we to be ready?  Christ speaks to that as well later in Matthew 25 when he reminds us that we are to follow him and take care of those  and to minister to when he says, "Truly I say, as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me." (v 40)  In short, we continue following Christ and ministering to those around us including those who don't know Christ.

Pray we remain sober and alert at all times and that we continue to minister to those around us.  Pray for those who continue to protect us and serve us at all times, who are willing to lay their own lives on the line to save us, during times like 9/11 and after. 

Hope Men's Ministry

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