The Anniversary (9-11-02)


Destruction, death. Fire, fear. Rage, rescue. National self-understanding and faith. How the turbulent confluence of these forces looks in Gospel light is the burden of this issue, in preparation for The Anniversary of the 9/11/01 attack on the USA. The lead-off piece is on rescue and national repentance. Next is a Crossing of our refreshed patriotism. Then we listen in on Pastor Mitri Raheb's sermon to help his church deal with those same forces in a far distant place, after the Israeli occupation of Bethlehem was lifted. Finally, a conversation with a firefighter about how his work is effected by 9/11 and by his faith.

  • C-R is for Crossed Rescuers
    Crossings is the disciplined asking, "What has the Good News of Christ's death and resurrection for us got to do with that?" - "that" being almost anything: a biblical passage, a doctrinal claim or ethical prescription, someone's daily job (we specialize in this one). "That" could be a piece of popular culture (movie, song) or something in the news, like accounting scandals. ...

  • O-S-S is for Of Several Sorts
    "Patriotism" is a broad word. It refers to a devotion to one's nation. But not all love is good; it is of several sorts. And the September 11th attacks spurred a rise in patriotism of all sorts. Flag sales increased because people want to express attachment, loyalty and love for the USA. Though "patriotism" is not in the Bible as a word, the Bible has many things to say about it. Simplistic approval or disapproval of patriotism is not biblical. We must speak clearly. ...
  • I-N-G is for Invasion Necessitates Gospel
    Bishop Bouman is not the only pastor helping his people to deal with, in faith, an attack on buildings and people within his parish. Pastor Mitri Raheb of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem had the task, after the church compound had been occupied and the church members put under curfew for forty days, of "crossing" that horrible situation for his people. At the church's first assembly following the ordeal, he interpreted those events through God's Law and God's Gospel so that his people could believe their way forward. ...

  • S is for Serve
    Mark Boetcher was a lieutenant in the Oshkosh Fire Department when I was his pastor. Now he's a captain.

    TM   What was it like for firefighters on September 11th? ...

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