Pastor’s Corner: “Remembering 9/11”

While we are experiencing unprecedented craziness, sorrow, grief and loss in 2020, there’s one thing that fateful day 19 years ago helps us remember today, it’s that tomorrow is not promised. If only we could apply that line of thinking to other areas of our life. The truth from the 9/11 tragedy is some of us now realize that the nice cars, big homes, many of the dreams that we have been chasing are just not all that important. Maybe we have come to understand, as the Apostle John came to understand, that serving God is much more important than honoring our own desires. 1 John 2:16-17 (NLT) – 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 

The World Trade Center tragedy has also helped us to understand that we have two citizenships, one in this world and one in heaven. Perhaps the greater reality is that while we’ve been storing up riches in this world, we have yet to see a Wells Fargo Truck follow any hearses. We can’t take it with us! James Dobson once told a modern-day parable that communicates the important spiritual truth that 9/11 helps us to understand. He was playing the board game, Monopoly, with his family. As the game progressed, he grew richer with every move, ultimately owning the most desired of the game board properties, Boardwalk, Park Place, all the railroads and utilities. Money was no longer a concern. But when the game ended, Dobson realized that he had been left all alone to put all the pieces back in the box. All that wealth really didn’t mean a thing.

The Bible is filled with verses admonishing us about the very lesson James Dobson learned. Proverbs 23:5 (NLT) reminds us that we really can’t depend on wealth. “In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.” Jesus said that riches can literally choke you to death (Luke 8:14). It’s not a sin to want nice things. But it is a sin when the want for those nice things becomes our god – when we are willing to subordinate what really matters for what doesn’t.

The Apostle Paul teaches that the real treasures in life are those that we will see when we get on the other side of eternity. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NLT)17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which I s so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. 

Stop and think about your life, your priorities, and ask God to help you understand the bigger picture! There is a lot of tragedy, a lot of suffering, a lot of sin in our world. We see it in obvious ways like the evil that was carried out on September 11, 2001, and we see it in more subtle ways in our own hearts, but we can rejoice because God’s Word tells us that He is greater than all of it. Christ has overcome the world and the sin that weighs it–and us—down! 

In His Grace,

Pastor Hamilton