On the Third Anniversary
The newspapers are reporting that at least 2,315 American military personnel have lost their lives in
On the Sunday after 9-11, I had the opportunity to share these words at my church.Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand. --Mark Twain
This is what bothers me:
We are a community of love whose existence is mandated by God and whose founder has taught us in no unmistakeable terms that not only should we love our neighbors but also our enemies.
This is my prayer: Lord, Teach me how to love my enemies. I pray that our response to this catastrophe not cause more terror.
There has been lots of talk that Muslim fundamentalists have proclaimed a jihad against Satan based on the teachings of the Koran and they have identified Satan with the
One author whose name I can not pronounce has called 1st Century
There were numerous uprisings that culminated in the war with
This same author says that Luke used his sources in such a way to portray Jesus as a model for nonviolence. She says that Luke changed the sword passage in Matthew to read as follow: “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth. No, I tell you but rather division.
Now, some of my thoughts:
The four gospels tell us that Jesus is captured by the soldiers as he prayed in the
I believe Luke told us what really happened and Luke in telling the story was engaged in irenical theology, that he presented his gospel to reconcile differences developing between the followers of Jesus and Judaism. I further believe that the other gospels were written to emphasize the separation between Judaism and Christianity.
In Matthew after the ear is cut off by the unnamed person Jesus says: Put away your sword for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. In Mark, Jesus reminds his captors that they did not need weapons and that they could have apprehended any day of the week as he taught in the
One particular telling story of religious fanaticism is the story of Phineas the High Priest. Phineas with his sword killed a couple engaged in sex because one of them was not Jewish. The Maccabees and the religious zealots of the first century looked for a Messiah to be a kind of combined Phineas the High Priest, David the warrior king and Elijah the prophet.
A Lutheran minister in NYC told this story last night (September 15, 2001):
“There's been talk of the city returning to normal. I'm not sure I know quite what "normal" is for
But there is a definite sense of people seeking more and more to return to the usual, the ordinary. This is a partly a response to the terrorism. Partly a need for the comfort of the familiar, which we can cling to in the face of tremendous upset. And partly the simple need to get on with life. We still need to walk the dog and get groceries and do the laundry.
One fellow student told how she was on the subway, and for the first time since Tuesday, it was crowded, and there was a little jostling and attitude. She was just married this summer, and her husband was on the streets near the
Tonight, after I led a worship service at noon, and class from 2-6, Lisa and I went to a candlelight gathering at the Firefighter's Memorial, which happens to be nearby. Afterwards we walked over to Broadway, looking to grab dinner.
Two blocks later we spied the Afghan Kebab House. Its name caught my eye, and I noticed they were open, but the dining room was empty. Other restaurants were packed. An American flag hung in the window, and smaller flags decorated the dining room.
We had a lovely dinner and, as you might guess, excellent service. We also had a conversation with the proprietor. In true
Due to the restaurant's name, they are currently doing almost no dining room business. His brother's restaurant in midtown is doing almost no business at all, and has been getting hate calls as well. But they decided that they must stay open. Not only to try and earn a living, but to close would seem as if they'd done something wrong. "We love this country, our life is here." It might not need saying, but it had better be said anyway, that he was just as upset at the recent terrorist attacks as any other New Yorker. "My mother was crying all day," he told us.
We talked about some of his experiences of the past days, which involved the same kind of heartsickness and confusion seen all over this city and nation. Yesterday, he got home late, 1 am, and his wife had no milk in the house. "OK, I'll go to Waldbaum's" (supermarket), he said. On the way, he saw a band of 20-30 boys, high school age and up, carrying American flags and cheering, chanting, "patriotic" sentiments. He detoured so he wouldn't have to cross their path. "Why take a chance? Why tempt them?" he asked. It's the same reason he has an "OPEN" sign in the door, but hasn't turned the lights on for his "AFGHAN KEBAB HOUSE" sign. I wonder how long will he feel he must stay in the shadows?
A little historical note: In 1916, the
"Those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it." I pray that our generation will at least make different mistakes.
Please consider patronizing "Arab" and Muslim businesses. You'll be supporting your neighbors in a difficult time - and you'll get great service.”
I don’t think I can top the story told by Rev. Paul Bellan-Boyer.