September 16, 2020

This past Friday, our country marked the 19th anniversary of the terrible terrorist attacks of 9/11. That day 2,996 lives were lost and so many were injured. In just a few moments, our lives were changed.  Within just a few days, we were preparing for war. We learned about groups of people, like Al-Qaeda, who wanted to harm us and who we believed to be responsible for the attacks of 9/11. Soon, we would send soldiers to Afghanistan and later to Iraq.  It was the beginning of the War on Terror.

Last Friday, as I was driving my daughters home from school, we were talking about 9/11. They had talked about it at school and they had questions.  While we were driving, I realized that my daughters have never lived a day that our country was not engaged in the War on Terror, somewhere in the world.  9/11 has sent us around the world, fighting for 19 long years.

My heart grew heavy as my daughters and I talked about how 9/11 changed so many things. Sadly, our struggle to prevent another 9/11 has kept us at war. What are we to think about this as a people of faith? How are Christians supposed to approach war, in light of our faith?

On September 11, 2001, I was shocked.  On September 12, 2001, I was angry.  I joined with most of the people in our country wanting to do something about those who would harm us. In the time since those days, I have grown to understand that part of our duty as a people of faith is to pray for, and work for peace. We are called to be a people who live out the love of God and to pray, “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.”

I want to offer the beautiful words of the song, Let There Be Peace on Earth to you. As I write this devotional, it is my hope that my daughters, my neighbors, and you and I soon experience a peaceful world.  I give thanks for those who have so diligently fought to keep us safe. In light of the struggles around us, and on behalf of those who have given so much in service to our country, I hope today that you will join me in praying for peace. Pray for peace for our country. Pray for peace for our enemies. Pray for peace in our world.

Here are some of the beautiful words to this prayer for peace:

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth,
the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father,
brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me.
Let this be the moment now.
With every breath I take
let this be my solemn vow:
To take each moment
and live each moment
in peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me.

– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship