First, 9/11 is a vivid reminder to us all that there really is, despite prevailing cultural notions to the contrary, evil. Evil is real, and is a reality with which we must reckon. No matter where one stands politically with regard to George W. Bush, one thing he did that took a lot of courage was steadfastly hold to the view that there is evil in this world. Certainly he made this clear following 9/11. And he is spot on. The ancient sages, like King David of Israel, for instance, speak repeatedly of the “evil times” (Psalm 37:19). Like a billboard planted in the sands of time, 9/11 loudly proclaims to all who will pay attention that there are terrible forces of wickedness prevelent in our world today. This cannot be missed.
Another reason we cannot forget 9/11 is that it reminds us of the terrible fragility of life. Can you imagine the second of horror for the woman who in one of the towers just set her coffee cup down on her desk, reached for her computer’s mouse, and glanced upward toward the window just as a passenger jet came hurling through it at 500 miles an hour? One moment she’s thinking of portfolios and the next moment she’s gone. As the great wise ruler Solomon once wrote, “who can tell man what will be after him under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 6:12)?
Yet one more reason–among many–that we cannot forget 9/11 is that is should rally us to shed abroad the love of Christ. Because it highlights the reality of evil, and because it reminds us of life’s fragility, we should be deeply motivated to tell of the redemptive story. The time is short, the needs are great, and there is a whole world of people going straight to Hell because they have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The punch of 9/11 ought to shock us into seeing this need, hurting for the people in the towers or the Pentagon or the Pennsylvania fields; hurting for the people in the terror training camps of Somalia and Afghanistan. Hurting for everyone. As Jesus says in John 9:4, “We must work the works of him who sent me.” Who is it that sent Jesus? The Father. And the Father really wants the story of the cross and the empty tomb told.
- Special Question: Where were you on September 11, 2001? In what way did that day change your life? And do the events of that day still shape your life even today?