#929 – 13 Years



13 years ago I had plans of waking up and going to school.

13 years ago I had plans of going to Best Buy to purchase a P.O.D. CD and a Nickelback CD, which is still very embarrassing.

13 years ago I thought September 11 would be like any other day, but it obviously wasn’t.

13 years ago terrorists hijacked four planes. Two crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, one crashed into the Pentagon and another crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The 9/11 attacks forever altered the world in which we live and the images of that day will be forever etched in my mind.

13 years ago, though, some of my junior high students weren’t even alive.

It’s mind boggling that an event, which had so much impact on my life, is nothing but a history lesson to my students. The 9/11 attacks are to my students as the Kennedy assassination is to me.

And even though 9/11 isn’t a history lesson to me, it still feels like ancient history. 13 years ago seems like such a long time, especially when I think about how slowly the days following the attacks seemed to pass.

I pray that history won’t repeat itself and that we will never have to experience a day like we did 13 years ago. Unfortunately the world is broken and my junior high students, who weren’t even alive 13 years ago, will face some sort of season of doubt and fear.

Thankfully, when they experience those seasons, the same God who guided and comforted so many 13 years ago will still be the same. Human history is littered with brokenness, fear and doubt. Thankfully God is the same yesterday, today and forever. As he comforted people thousands of years ago, he continues to comfort people today and will continue to do so in the future.

More than just comforting us, God is putting all the broken pieces of our world back together. Christ has defeated fear and doubt just like he defeated sin and death. We needed that truth 13 years ago and we still need it today.

What are some of your reflections from 13 years ago?


3 comments on “#929 – 13 Years”

  1. Thanks for your reflections, Scott.

    There is an entire chapter in my eighth-grade son’s US history text (granted, it’s a shorter, “epilogue” chapter, but still it’s there) devoted to 9/11 and its immediate aftermath. It stops at the anthrax letter scare. The book is copyright 2002, so nothing on the Iraq war. I think that was probably too quick to add anything about 9/11 to history texts.

    Not only will he, your students, and the nation continue to face seasons of doubt and fear, so many in other nations still know nothing but. Without at all minimizing America’s grief and pain and anger over the events of 9/11, I had hoped, at the time, that it might wake us up to the rest of the world in some ultimately fruitful, positive, peaceful ways. Thirteen years later, I don’t see much of that. It may still be too soon to write any definitive history of 9/11 and its effects, but I think we had an opportunity 13 years ago — remember how the world press was proclaiming, “We are all Americans now?” — and largely squandered it by answering violence with violence.

    And I confess my complicity in it: I was still preaching weekly at the time, and I am certain I did not speak as faithfully as often or as loudly as I could have as the drumbeat to invade Iraq built. I preached several “pastoral” sermons about grieving with those who grieve, and about how God didn’t cause 9/11, and even about not painting all Muslims with a broad brush, and about working for peace in our own relationships with our neighbors. And I still think all that was true and called for. But I also didn’t take the chance to initiate conversations in the congregation or community about Christian responses to the clamor for war. Either the immediate concerns of my congregants seemed more pressing, or I allowed myself to believe they were out of fear.

    I believe, as you say, “God is putting the broken pieces of our world back together.” Most days, though, I confess I wish God were being quicker about it. Maranatha, Lord Jesus.

  2. 13 years ago I was in high school. And there was no “teaching” per say. Well not of planned lessons that day. There was watching news broadcast and talking about what happened that day

  3. Perspective helps understand: how about WW II and it’s tremendous loss of life as well as the sacrifices all of us made. If t least, we as a nation, knew we were on tne right side.

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