Pastor's Corner: September 10th, 2021
20 years ago, the world went to bed with no idea how much their world would be changed by the events which were to occur the following morning. Between 7:59 AM and 8:42 AM, four flights would take off from various airports, two flights from Boston, one from Washington D.C., and the other from Newark, NJ.
At 8:46 AM hijackers had obtained control of American Airlines Flight 11 and had crashed it into the North tower of the World Trade Center. At 9:03 AM, United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. The world now knew what it had suspected all along - that the first crash was not an isolated incident and the United States was under attack. At 9:37 AM, American Airlines Flight 77 hit the western side of the Pentagon. The final flight, United Airlines Flight 93, which was intended to be brought down into the U.S. Capitol Building was crashed into a field in Southern Pennsylvania after the passengers on board overpowered the hijackers and brought it down.
For those of us on the West Coast, we woke up to the news of what was happening. Flights were grounded, fighter jets were scrambled, and we and watched and listened as the towers came down, and thousands lost their lives.
The world has never been the same.
I don't know about you, but to some capacity, I find it difficult to even remember a pre-9/11 world.
Today, as a direct result of the events of 9/11, there are increased security measures in place at airports and other buildings. There are increased governmental surveillance efforts, no fly lists, the Patriot Act, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, the Department of Homeland Security, and the list goes on.
We just exited the longest running war in U.S. History, which came about as a result of the hunt for the terrorist leaders that masterminded the attack and the fumble of the exit, and the issues that came about as a result of that fumble have caused a power vacuum in Afghanistan which the Taliban have been all too eager to fill.
These events have long lasting effects and ripples which go outward from the original event, impacting and shaping policies for decades to come.
In the book of Matthew, Christ told His disciples of the time that was to come.
Matthew 24 records His words, as He works to comfort His disciples with the news of what was to come. Matthew 24:
"And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."
In the intervening years, these things have escalated, and the frequency between them seems to be increasing as we see wars, rumors of wars, famines around the world, pestilence, earthquakes, and as Jesus told His disciples, these things are the beginning of sorrows.
The word Christ uses for 'sorrows' in the NKJV is the greek word, ODIN, which means birth pains, great travail, great pain like a mother in the process of childbirth.
With childbirth starts, once the process is fully underway, it doesn't stop until the child is born. 9/11 was one strong contraction in many over the past 20 years. We've continued to experience these birth pangs with increasing frequency, and varying levels of contractions.
Eventually the child is born - the contractions are fulfilled, and the process comes to fruition. The Fall Holy Days that we are in the midst of commemorating here with the Feast of Trumpets this past week, Atonement this next week and the Feast of Tabernacles shows a time in which the birth is coming to a close - and God's Kingdom comes.
To reach that point - we must go through these times. The only way out is through. I hope that this Fall Holy Day season is particularly memorable for you, and that it provides you with the opportunity to take a breath, and get some rest before the next contraction comes.
This too shall pass, and the joy that we will experience when it does will outweigh the pain and the sorrow we experience now. As Paul said in Romans 8:18, 'our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory which is to come.'
May we all remain strong in the face of the challenges.