September 11, 2019

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” -John 1:4-5

We were in the car on our way to work. Aimee and I had only been married for five months. We were both on staff at the First United Methodist Church of Altus. We decided to grab breakfast that morning at McDonald’s. As we were waiting in line for our food we heard the people on the radio talking. One person said, “It looks like something has happened at the World Trade Towers. We are not sure what, but it looks like a bomb or something.” That was, of course, the first thing we heard about the first plane that had hit Tower 1 of the World Trade Center.

By the time we arrived at work, it was clear that something awful had happened. Shortly after the first plane hit Tower 1, another plane had struck Tower 2 and we knew this was more than a terrible accident. For the rest of the day, our eyes were on the only T.V. in the church that got cable. We watched as the world turned upside down.

Throughout that day, the phone rang for various reasons at the church. Mostly, people wanted to know if the church would be gathering. We were scared, worried and no one knew what terrible thing would possibly happen next.

As I think back on that horrible day, eighteen years ago, I realize how so much has changed because of that act of terror when four flights were hijacked. My daughters have never known a day, when our country has not been at war. We still experience fear and worry when it comes to our safety and security. However, I also remember how so many turned to the church on 9/11. It was in our darkest moment that we looked to God for light and hope.

The promise of our faith comes to life in the most difficult moments. When we experience tragedy and pain we turn to God and to our family of faith. When we do this, we find hope and help in our time of need. The Disciple John understood this and stated it clearly as he opened his Gospel. He reminds on days like today, when we cannot forget the tragedy that changed our world, that, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” For this comfort that God brings in the darkness I give thanks and find within it my peace. Thanks be to God.

Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship