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The Rev. Dr. C. Clark Hubbard, Rector
St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church
Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324
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Where were you?

By the Rev. Dr. C. Clark Hubbard

Where were you on September 1, 2001 around 9 AM ? It is a question we may have been asked last week. Asked or not, we may have found ourselves remembering with grief that day we now simply know as 9-11; that day when we were unexpectedly attacked, resulting in nearly three thousand people perishing. As Franklin Roosevelt said of the attack on Pearl Harbor, 9-11 will also go down as “A date which will live in infamy.”

After 9-11, life in this country has never been the same. Airport security is a most unpleasant reminder. Who would have ever thought we would endure such indignities? Is the NSA listening to our phone calls?

Increasingly, we live in a world of uncertainty. Safety has become a relative term.  Would we have been surprised if another terrorist attack occurred last week? Bloodshed is a global diet from crime on the streets to the beheadings and slaughter in that cauldron of conflict –

How shall we cope? The grief is unbearable –the wailing louder than thunder, the tears deeper than oceans. Will it ever end? Must there always be war and inequity? We can’t help but hope that things will change for the better. We tell ourselves if we tried a little harder, if people were a little more equal, if we compromised a little more, then finally we would all get along with one another. Yet, curiously, the more we strive to break down bearers, the more we try to include and not exclude, the more division seems to grow. What are we to do?

We may have laughed and pointed, while watching a football game on TV, at the strange guy holding up at sign with the words “John 3:16.” It is a verse from the Bible, and it reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son (Jesus), so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

People perishing, isn’t that what we are talking about in asking, “Where were you on 9-11? People perished on 9-11. People are perishing from crime, terrorism, war, and hunger at this very moment. God, though, sees our pain. He does not want us to perish,. He gave us Jesus, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish.

Despite what reason may try to tell us, the only way to know that Jesus saves us from perishing is to believe. Then, in believing, we will experience our grief begin to lessen. Then, in believing we will discover a love for others, even our enemies. Love for others, including our enemies,” is the only way we can ever hope to stop the inequities, the violence, and the killing.

Jesus came to save us from perishing.

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