We said we would always remember…and so we do. We pause to acknowledge this anniversary of sorrow and loss, of confusion and grief, of private mourning and public outcry.
“Tragedy can teach us many lessons. From pain, we can learn compassion. From division, we can learn solidarity. And when our world is shattered, as it was on September 11, 2001, we can learn to seek understanding. On that violent day which shook us silent, America fractured. The lines between ‘us’ and ‘them’ grew thicker, darker, and harsher, muddying our shared humanity. We have since inhabited the shadows they cast, shouting at one another from across divides. On this, the anniversary of that heartbreaking day, we mourn and remember those we lost and all who were affected. But we are also given an opportunity: to overcome the lie of ‘them’ and ’I’ and learn to live together. The terrorists of 9/11 were guided by a narrative of intercultural incompatibility. But as people of diverse religious and secular identities, we can prove them wrong in our unity. By building bridges of understanding, we can emerge from the shadows and learn — from one another — how to be our best selves.” ~Chris Stedman
“Dear God, how do we pray for what was lost? We cannot pray for deliverance or a miracle, for the tragedy has already burned itself into our souls. Children have grown fatherless. Families are long since bereaved. We know there is no prayer to change the past. So we pray to live with memory, with constant love, with the promise both to combat evil and to cherish goodness. Do not let our pain cloud our hopes or crush our hearts. Help us grow through this tragedy, keep faith with its victims, and sustain our trust in You.” ~Rabbi David Wolpe
“It is not those who say, ‘Lord, Lord!’ who will enter the reign of God, but those who do God’s will.” (Matthew 7:21) God of all races, nations, and religions, You know that we cannot change others, Nor can we change the past. But we can change ourselves. We can join You in changing our only and common future where you ‘reign’ the same over all. Help us not to say, “Lord, Lord” to any tribal gods, but to hear the One God of all the earth, And to do God’s good thing for this One World.” ~ Rev Richard Rohr
“Loving God of Peace: On this anniversary of unbelievable sorrow, comfort those who mourn, and guide our hearts toward healing and hope. Remind us of the love of Christ, love which leapt over cultural and ethnic boundaries to feed the hungry, seek the lost and care for the least. Make of Your children, no matter how we name You, one human family, bound together in the work of justice and peacemaking. Make us one with the Light that shines in the darkness and illumines a path toward understanding and reconciliation. Let love be our genuine call. Amen.” Dr. Jacqueline Lewis
(Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Nappi and Tony Wadden)