Love for a Fallen World

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The anniversary of 9-11 is very difficult for the citizens of this country. Included among the nearly 3000 victims were 836 responders, firefighters, and police personnel, who came to rescue people from terrorist attacks. The overwhelming majority of casualties in all four attacks were civilians, including nationals from over 70 countries.

In a sermon at Harvard University’s Memorial Church on September 23, 2001, shortly after the terrorist attacks, the late Peter Gomes told the story of Ernest Gordon, who was captured on the River Kwai during World War II. “While in a Japanese prison camp, Gordon and his fellow British captives were initially very religious, reading Bibles, praying, singing hymns, witnessing, and testifying to their faith. They were hoping and expecting that God would reward them and fortify their faith by freeing them or at least mitigating their captivity.”

God didn’t deliver, however, and the men became both disillusioned and angry. They gave up on the outward display of their faith; but after a while, as the men began tending to the needs of their fellows—caring for them, protecting the weaker one and in some cases dying for one another—they began to discern something of a spirit of God in their midst. They discovered that religion was not merely what you believed, but also what you did for others when it seemed that you could do nothing at all. Compassion gave them their inner strength, and their inner strength gave them compassion.

Could it be that amid the cries of vengeance and violence and warfare, the inner strength we so desperately seek is the strength that comes from hearing and heeding the cry of another?

I look forward to tonight- Wednesday Sept 7, 2011 when we will study passages of scripture, Exodus 14:19-31 “….a pillar of cloud…” , Matthew 18:21-35 “…forgiveness…” , ….and Romans 14:1-12 “…judgment”… songs, share prayers, as the Body of Christ.

This Sunday, September 11th, 2011 at 8:30am, we will gather in the parking lot at Rock Canyon High School for prayer and remembrance on the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attack. We have told firefighters, rescue workers, police officers and other public servants that we will be praying for them and asking God’s blessing to be upon them in the service they provide. It is not known how many will be able to participate with us if any, it is a busy day for them with many public events scheduled. I invite all of you to gather, to come together in prayer for our continued healing, and that the message of God’s love for a fallen world might be sent.

Following this brief time of community prayer you are invited to go with God into the world to serve through the ministry of Extreme Community Makeover. Details are on the GGCC website.

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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