Most of you are too young to remember September 11, 2001. If you do have any memories of that day, you certainly don't remember what life was like in this country before 9/11. So much has changed. And it breaks my heart, for your sake.
We now seem to live in a world with constant anxiety. Knowing that we are not insulated or protected from the world's larger battles, we cannot pretend that our ocean borders will protect us. Fearing "others," we have turned a weary eye to the two neighbors with whom we do share a physical border.
The way of the devil is to point at others. This is what happened in the Garden of Eden. 9/11 became the permission needed to hate others for who they are, ignoring how individuals live their lives.
So much has changed. And I am sorry that you will never know a world in which vile words and hateful actions are a part of every day life.
I do not want to minimize the depth of these realities by arriving at a simplistic conclusion. There is not such an ending. I will invite you to be honest and truthful and to challenge the forces of evil which seek to isolate us from neighbor and which would encourage us to turn our fear into anger. We must do as Jesus did. We must seek a world in which the love of God reigns - and we must live as if that world is already a reality. We will be scoffed because of our naivete; and we might even be pressed upon for our innocent trust in others. But such is the way of Jesus.
It is easy to follow Jesus when all is well. It is another thing to do his will when the power of evil is loose around us.
Make time to pray this day. Pray for the world. Pray for those who hate. Pray for a world in which the promises of God are received by all God's children.