In Touch September 9, 2011
Posted on September 9, 2011 by under Touché,

h2Ten Years Ago in the Tent/h2
“9/11 was this moment that we came together, and it lasted about three-and-a-half minutes.”         (Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and Public Life in an article from today’s NY  Times a title=”NY Time article” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/nyregion/omitting-clergy-from-911-ceremony-prompts-protest.html” span style=”text-decoration: underline;”Omitting Clergy from 9/11 Ceremony Prompts Protest./span)/a

I remember being together in the tent ten years ago on 9/11. Without planning or publicity,  people streamed into the tent to hear a word from God and be together in a time of tragedy.   This Sunday, we will be back in the tent at ten o’clock.  We will remember 9/11. !–more–
All five of our worship services will be in one place, followed by a picnic on our property. It will be the beginning of our span style=”text-decoration: underline;”a title=”Signup for 40 days of Joy!” href=”http://hopewellreformedchurch.org/2011/09/02/signup-for-40-days-of-joy/”Forty Days of Joy/a/span.  All the congregations of Hopewell will work through the book of Philippians in these next forty days: in large group on Sunday, in small groups throughout the week and personally in devotions each day.

I don’t sense in our country there is the same desire to hear a word from God in our current time.  The front page of the paper talks about the controversy in New York City with no clergy represented in 9/11 remembrances.  Ten years ago, clergy of every stripe gathered in Yankee Stadium for a national prayer service.  At the National Cathedral, as well, there is controversy on who is invited and who is not invited to an interfaith prayer service.  The unity that we celebrated ten years ago in tragedy seems to be torn apart ten years later by reality.

The reality is people are weighed down; by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, by political division in Washington and state capitals, by an economy that is stagnant and losing jobs,  and by this last week’s storms that have washed away homes and, for many, hope.

We need to come together under the tent and be reminded as we were ten years ago: “God is our refuge and our strength a very present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46)There is a word from God for this time and for this day.  It is a word of joy that can be deep seated in our spirit and sung in any situation.  It is the joy of knowing that we have been called together in Christ for a greater purpose and plan, and the God who began a good work in us will bring it to completion in the day of the Lord.

I don’t know that people will stream into churches like they did ten years ago, but there is no other place to go for those words of eternal life.  It is there that we find our joy in a post 9/11 world.  I look forward to being together again under the tent this Sunday.  I pray that the people come streaming in to a place of joy.

In Christ,    Taylor

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