"...a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance..."
I was in the 3rd grade when the attack on 9/11/2001 occurred.
The event was shocking to say the least. My friends and I did not fully understand what a "terrorist" was, or how close New York City was to our elementary school in middle-of-nowhere, Indiana. The whole day was scary and sad. It was a day that many children lost their innocence in regards to recognizing evil, and a day that many people tragically lost their lives.
Now 15 years later, it is almost eery to know that this is the first generation of high school freshman that will learn about the attack as a truly historical event, rather than something they were born in time to witness.
As I remember the despair of that day as an adult, I cannot help but feel the weight of the darkness that the event cast. The attack was an incredibly low and powerful moment in our nation's history. However, we worship an incredibly high and powerful God, One who can redeem even the most broken stories.
Of course, we remember those who were killed. We remember the many public safety officials who heroically put their lives on the line to save others. We remember the tears, and we remember the mourning. But then, we must do something else.
Our God is full of justice and full of mercy. He is the perfect paradox of terrifying wrath against evil and humbling forgiveness towards the repentant. Through Jesus Christ, we can trust that He personally knows our grief and our pain. Instead of only remembering and only mourning, we must also refocus on Jesus.
We must refocus on showing love and mercy to our proverbial "enemies." We must refocus on the hope of future change. We must refocus on the Word of God as we strive to follow him day-in and day-out. But, we can't stop here either.
Redemption is real. Hope is not just abstract and far-away. Our God is active in the here-and-now. His Kingdom is both present already, and also not yet fully revealed. Jesus' sacrificial love is changing the world, one heart at a time. Evil will never have the upper-hand, for Christ has defeated death and sin. In these things, we must rejoice.
We rejoice in eternal salvation upon Jesus' return. We rejoice in the fact that peace is indeed achievable in the Kingdom of God. We rejoice that thanks to Christ, we can react to violence not with more violence, but with an upside-down love instead.
On behalf of my fellow staff members here at IDES, we pray for you in your time of remembrance; we join you in refocusing our gaze upon Jesus Christ; and we invite you to rejoice with us as we strive forward with the hope of sharing the Gospel with a hurting world.
-written by Chase Cotten, Media Director @ IDES