Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Like most people who were of an age to remember, I can pinpoint exactly what I was doing when the United States was forever changed.
I was sleeping when my mom woke me and told me I needed to see what was happening. For the next few hours I sat silently as I watched the towers collapse and the tragedy play itself out.
The tragedy continued to play itself out over the next few days, weeks, months and even years. Even today, 10 years removed from the event, we can still feel the repercussions of tragedy.
As I reflected on what it means to mark the 10th anniversary of an event that will mark my generation, I turned to the book of Colossians. In Colossians, the author paints a picture of Christ, not as a meek carpenter, but as the ruler of the universe. Colossians 1:15-20 says:
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Christ is sovereign. Everything has been created through him and for him. So even when the world seems like it’s spinning out of control, much like it did 10 years ago, Christ is still in control.
Even though it can be difficult and even though it can sound trite, we need to trust in the supremacy of Christ when facing tragic situations. Placing our trust in Christ’s supremacy allows us to keep moving forward even when the world is falling apart. We may not understand why tragedies happen, why parents lose children, why children lose parents or why disease and famine ravage the world. We may never understand those things, but we can cling to the reality that Christ is supreme, he is in control, and he is reconciling the world through himself.
If Christ was in control but simply allowing the world to fall apart, there would be no reason to place our trust in him. As the passage above says, though, Christ is reconciling to world to God through himself.
Christ is putting things back together.
Christ is mending broken hearts.
Christ is healing old wounds.
Christ is making things right.
That’s the hope in the midst of tragedy: Christ is making things right. Over the past 10 years we have seen Christ working in the midst of tragedy, rebuilding and reworking. And not only does Christ reconcile large-scale tragedies, but he also mends the brokenness in each of our own personal lives.
Christ is supreme. He not only rules over the universe and national tragedies, but over our lives and personal brokenness. And not only does he rule over them, but he is putting them back together, piece by piece.
This song by Gungor expresses the beauty of tragedy and Christ’s ability to work within its midst. It can be purchased here.