On September 11th we remember the tragic events that took place on the east coast and right in our backyard. As weak as our minds are we must decide that we will never forget what happened because in remembering we are able to find a renewed gratitude for life, appreciation for our freedom, and wisdom for living. Where were you when you heard the news? Who were you with? What were you doing? I can remember sitting in a classroom silently stunned waiting to be sent home as we watched the news coverage on the television. You may even be able to feel some of those same emotions or feelings in your chest as you recall that day. I can’t imagine how those passengers felt on board flight 93. 40 ordinary people boarded a plane, some for business and others for pleasure, headed from New Jersey to San Francisco. When the plane made a sharp turn in Cleveland and began heading towards DC their lives were turned upside down. Those 40 ordinary people had a choice to make that day with the life that they had been given.
How would you have responded when you saw the commotion take place at the front of the plane? What would have been going through your mind as you heard strange voices over the loud speaker? I’m sure there are many of us who may have responded in anger, fear, or even great panic. In the midst of turmoil those 40 ordinary people showed extraordinary courage and selflessness. Instead of giving up they decided to take action. 33 passengers and 7 crew members all from very different backgrounds and different stages of life unified together. They chose to stand together against evil. We will never know what exactly happened inside that plane but what we do know for certain is that Flight 93 did not reach the hijackers intended target. By the grace of God the plane landed in a field just outside of Shanksville. Those 40 died tragically but at the same time heroically. Hundreds of lives, if not more, were spared because of their sacrifice.
In reflecting on what took place that day, one politician said, “In a field in rural Pennsylvania, right prevailed over wrong and hope was born again.” Many were given life and many enjoy freedom today because of the selfless act of those men and women. It is hard to remember a story like this and not think back to an even greater moment in history. In John 15:13, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends.” Great love was shown on September 11th but even greater love was shown over 2,000 years ago when one man, sent from God, gave His life on a cross. There at the cross, in a field outside of the city, right prevailed over wrong. Sin was paid for, death was defeated, and hope was born again for all those who would trust in Jesus. So what will you do with the life that you’ve been given? My prayer is that through Jesus you would respond as those 40 did; that you would stand courageously in the face of evil, act selflessly towards others, and trust Jesus whole-heartedly.
Remembering With You, Pastor Rudy