Words come with great difficulty at a time like this. None of us is able to express how we really feel. Our feelings are diverse and conflicted. Some of us are in shock and disbelief. We are filled with outrage and sadness, sorrow and frustration. We hold anger at the perpetrators, love for the dead; sympathy and compassion towards the mourning; awe and wonder at the courageous who endure this travesty.
This tragedy has claimed the lives of many innocent men, women and children. We have lost many heroes - from firefighters, policemen, emergency relief workers, airline passengers and flight crews, travelers, workers, site-seers, to military in the Pentagon. Each person was unique and precious. Each one is a dear and loved child of God and we honor them.
We didn’t know many of them personally; we may not be able recall their character, personality and contributions. But we can declare and show our appreciation for their lives. Knowing we are all part of the greater One, we all feel the tragic loss.
Hebrews says: “These all died in faith on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland”. Our lives are but sojourns, as a pilgrimage, seeking our Father’s house. The earth is not our home. We are by the grace of God only passing through, as if it were a journey, making a few brief resting places along the way. This planet is not life’s final destination. Like resident aliens we are in a strange land, wandering, living in temporary lodging, with no settled place or abode, seeking our true homeland. Life is a journey from eternity, through space and time, to eternity. There is an ultimate end to which God is leading us. Each day completes a stage of the journey; each day brings us closer to our final destination.
So today we look beyond the sorrow and frustration of this tragedy of this terrorist attack to focus on our vision upon our homeland in the blessed
Though our bodies wander through the earth, our spirits are ever at home with God. As the Apostle Paul said, “We are a colony of heaven” (Phil. 3:20), ever penetrating the earth’s wilderness with God’s love, ever controlled by God’s laws, every keeping in touch with our true homeland in Infinite Mind, in God. Then one day, suddenly the colonists return home as those we presently mourn have. But this is a day of rejoicing!
Those of us left behind, still on earth, must take up in our efforts to bring heaven on earth, to give meaning to the tragic loss of those who have gone before us, so suddenly and tragically. We won’t let their deaths be in vain as we continue the work of love and goodness. For one day too we will awake to the realization hat the end of our earth sojourn is in sight. Of course it is only natural to be saddened by the approaching end, but we will be returning Home.
In Truth, those who we are seemingly dead, still live - only their bodies have died. They are in the homeland or have chosen to journey yet to another world. In either case, they are still with us and always will be in Infinite Mind, in God.
Let us pray -
We give thanks to God for these men, women and children whom we have long loved and now have seemingly lost for a while. Their lives were dear to us; their names are precious in our memories. Their lives, their brave acts, their innocence and their courage touch our hearts. We remember them in this moment and honor and give thanks for their presence on earth, no matter how short.
Spirit of the Living God walk among us - your children here - and fill our saddened hearts with love and goodness. Replace our sorrow with compassion and our frustration with forgiveness for the ignorant, error-evil thinking terrorists who perpetrated this crime against humanity.
As we hold hands with the living, we are aware of the unseen witnesses, of the dearly departed, who have joined to the invisible presence of Infinite Mind, who have returned home. We believe that no harm has come to them and that their spirits are in your hands as they always have been. Sustain their families and friends with assuring faith, giving comfort and understanding. And let us heal our nation and planet by filling the world with love, peace and forgiveness. We give thanks. And so it is!