Anniversary is call for sober reflection

For many of us, we clearly remember the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 — the surreal news reports, the images of iconic buildings collapsing, the uncertainty of the extent of these terrorist attacks.

Now, almost unbelievably, it is 10 years later, and likewise amazingly and miraculously, our nation has not sustained another comparable hit like 9/11.

Not to take away the severity of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq resulting from 9/11 and smaller terrorist attempts or events such as the Fort Hood shootings, but many will call for a day of reflection and prayer on this 10th anniversary.

To mourn the loss of life and the sense of security is in order to be sure, but how would God want us to reflect on such an infamous anniversary?

Many passages from God’s holy word might come to mind, but perhaps at the top of the list should be Jesus’ own words recorded in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 13: 1- 9, spoken in a similar situation, reflecting on terrorism, a collapsing tower, and the “senseless” loss of life.

Ask all the “why” and “how come” questions you want, but to make “sense” of it all, you’ll be hard pressed to come up with any reasonable conclusions, especially if God is left out of the equation.

And when God is left out of the equation, left out of the lives of people; truly all bets are off as to just what people are capable of doing to each other and what will become of us as a people and as a nation.

Right after 9/11, churches were filled with not only the “regular faithful,” but also the occasional worshiper and even those that hadn’t been to church in years.

Isn’t it sad though that it takes either a funeral or disaster to fill the churches? — to shake the dust off God and bring him out like a forgotten umbrella or insurance policy only when needed in an unusual situation.

And this lasted after 9/11 all of about two weeks. Even the late-night comedians (with their off-color humor) were silenced for about two whole weeks.

Are 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, a failing economy, high unemployment, drought, fires, floods, wars, Joplin, Mo., etc., mere shots across the bow to get our attention, to turn us from our wicked (Godless) ways and call us back to God as individuals, as a nation, to take true refuge in the wounds of our one and only Savior Jesus Christ?

Or would we really rather see just how far we can go without him, pushing him out of our daily lives with our immorality, idolatry, selfishness, violence, covetousness, malice, and all the while urging him to withdraw his favor from us completely?

Yes, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is a call for sober reflection indeed!

Scott Blazek is pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Clovis. Contact him at:

immanuel@pdrpip.com