Friday, September 11, 2009

9- 11

Where were you when 9-11 happened? You know, when the planes flew into the towers and the Pengagon, where were you? We ask that question as readily as my generation is asked "where were you when John Kennedy was shot?"

When John Kennedy was shot I was in the sixth grade. It was the last class of the day, sixth period study hall. Mrs. Mabry, my science and math teacher came into our room and announced that the President had been shot. Mrs. Mabry was crying. Wow. She was the meanest teacher I ever had and she was crying. I knew something serious was going on.

School was dismissed early that day and we all went home not knowing whether our country would hold together or not. Was this just one thing among many that would happen? Was there an underlying conspiracy to overthrow our country? We watched as that huge Lyndon Johnson was sworn into office. We watched the funeral and John-John salute his daddy's casket. It was a moving and difficult time. We were mired in Vietnam and the civil rights movement was in full swing. When you're eleven or so, the world seems so big.

In 2001, Sept. 11, I was putting on my shoes in front of the TV when the first plane hit and it was reported. I drove to the office where we learned about the other planes and all that was going on. We sat for hours in front of the television trying to take it all in. We were in a collective depression.

At a worship service at the National Cathedral, world leaders gathered to worship and pray. These big people seemed all of a sudden so small. All kinds of questions circulated as we tried to figure out why this could happen. Did others hate us that much? What did we do? Most of the people killed were just at work.

Some say that this was an event that changed the world. One of my teachers says that this event didn't change the world; it was just more of the same. An endless cycle of violence and revenge. My teacher says that Easter was the day that changed the world- but nobody believes in Easter.

Maybe that's overstating it a bit. And yet, as Christians we always have to ask: "What is God saying to us in all of this?" Not that God caused it or wanted it to happen. But, what is going on here.

It's difficult for us to ask questions like that. It sounds like we're saying at some level that we deserved it. NO, no one deserves this- no matter what.

No, it's just acknowledging that it's God that we worship. And, our great towers of pride have come down. Shouldn't that remind us who is truly God and what is of true value in this world?

God bless the USA!
Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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