“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 2:3-5
September 11, 2001, was a tragic day. Our nation faced unprecedented terror. Attacks in New York City, Washington D.C., and in the air above Pennsylvania pierced the very heart of our nation. In just a few moments, our lives were changed forever. Our military mobilized. Our country rapidly changed. We all experienced shock, pain, anger, and fear. As we watched the tragedy unfold before our eyes, we worried when the next attacks would take place.
September 12, 2001 was an interesting day in our country. As we continued to learn about the attacks of the previous morning, we questioned how we would possibly move forward. Business as usual did not seem likely. We huddled together in our living rooms watching TV, and we huddled together at work, discussing everything.
I have heard the days and weeks following 9/11 described in many ways. Perhaps the one memory I have, as I look back on those days, is how unified we felt. We were not all thinking the same things, but we were together. We were there to comfort one another. We went to worship together. Amid the confusion and anxiety, we were together.
Those difficult days were defined by our unity. A tragedy designed to harm us, brought us together. In many ways, we long for days of unity over the multiple divisions we face in our society. The Apostle Paul understood the need for unity. He pleaded with his churches to be unified. Paul believed that the body of Christ should be defined by unity. When writing the Philippians, Paul offered the way to unification. He encouraged the church to look at the example of Jesus. Paul encouraged us to look to the needs of others, to look at ourselves with humility and, above all, have the same mind as Christ in our relationships with others.
I am thankful for the unity that followed 9/11. However, I am reminded that unity does not require tragedy. Christ offered us a powerful example. Humility, service, and seeing our neighbors as people to be cherished and loved and Christ loved us is how we are to live. This does not mean we will always agree, but we can be together. If we live as Christ lived, we will be a people who, together, bring love and hope to our world.
– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship