Friday, September 11, 2009
Mid-Day Devotion 9/11/09
“O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.”
Psalm 25:2 and 3
We never really talk about it…
As we pray for the hostages and the prisoners, as we pray for those who are bought and sold, kept in the dark, grim bondage of slavery by those who would subjugate and oppress, as we pray for those who are held for ransom, or murdered by terrorists who seek to work their vile ways, feeding off of chaos and suffering, affliction and sorrow, we never really speak of what captivity truly is…
Throughout the world we see so many examples of it, so many brutal reminders of its existence in this sinful world, as evil men of bitter iniquity inflict themselves on the lives of the innocent, ripping them away from all they have, all that they know, seeking not just to rob them of all that they love, but all of their hopes and dreams as well. In dark, hidden places they plan to set the world ablaze in turmoil and madness. Then from the smoldering ashes they appear to do as they will, holding life cheap and contemptuous, without any real value to it.
What is captivity though?
It is fear that is inflicted over the minds of people; a tool of hatred and tyranny, of darkness and oppression used to rule over the weak without mercy and without compassion. It is fear that is imposed by the forces of evil on the march, rising to subjugate not just the body but the mind, the spirit and the soul of humanity. It is the triumph of that fear and that hatred, used as a weapon by the enemies of freedom and liberty, justice and equality, the enemies of God, who seek to impose their ways and their will, not the will of the Lord, on their fellow man.
Today marches a bitter anniversary in the United States. Eight years ago, by the sheer force of terror, there were those who sought not just to murder and kill the innocent but, through the power of fear and hatred, to take an entire nation, and its people captive. Darkness seemed to loom, to ascend, to rise up from the smoke of that attack as we were forced to look on in horror and the shock of it all seemed so powerful, so terrifying.
Never could we have imagined that such evil, such hatred could have come to affect us in such a real way as we were shaken from our reality only to be woken to a misty haze and our comfort and our peace laid shattered at our feet.
Yet even from that darkness, there came a reminder, even as death seemed to surround us, life being so powerfully, so poignantly ripped away from so many right before our very eyes as terror and hatred found its way to our shore there came the deafening cry, the deafen call of the defiant, who would never relent, who would never surrender, who would never let their enemies triumph over their spirit and their soul. In love and sacrifice they gave their lives for the lives of their brothers and sisters as they rushed into the fire of that world set ablaze.
It is here that, through their lives and their sacrifices, a commanding lesson is taught, one that should always and forever overtake our spirits as we look to the chaos that all too often seems to surround us in this world of sin and iniquity where evil seems to have so much power. Though wicked men, though evil men of brutal oppression and bitter hatred may seek to subjugate us through fear as they work their vile ways, the only triumph they have is the triumph of our desperation and our despair when we forfeit hope, surrendering ourselves to them, willing to give up all that of value that we know and to abandon our fellow man to torture and torment, to brutality and to death.
Though it would have been easy for America and its people to surrender on that day to fear, the heroes of September 11th, they refused to let those who transgressed without cause to have the triumph, they refused to surrender their nation and the people they protected to the bitter captivity that these terrorists sought to inflict upon them. They gave their lives so that we may live free amidst liberty and hope, never to be held hostage to terror and the oppression of the mind.
To all of us it offers a lesson that they taught with their life. Always praying and holding steadfast to our faith we must look to the captivity and the tyranny in this world as a challenge from the enemies of humanity who would seek to hold life cheap and rise to the same spirit of love, dedication and sacrifice that those who rose on September 11th did as they heard the cries of the people. Ours must be to look to the fear and the hatred that is inflicted and never let it overtake us, finding the ways in which we can serve liberty and justice, the ways that we can work to set people free from the dark bondage and grim chains of slavery, of that terror that holds life to be cheap, without any real dignity or value. Ours must be to hear the calling of the Lord and remember the promise of the miracle of His touch, knowing always that “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
Let not fear or hatred dominate, let not terror weave itself into this world, instead, rise up and hear the cries of the afflicted and the pained as they suffer in torture and torment, as wicked men seek to rule this world and the people of it through their iniquity and sin. Let the Spirit of the Lord and the love of Christ dominate your life as courage and sacrifice, as strength and compassion moves you to look up the captivity that can be so used as such a terrible and terrifying weapon as nothing more than a tool of weak men whose ways shall soon fade from this earth. Be compelled therefore by the Lord, a God of deliverance and mercy, to make a stand against all evil and darkness that may surround us and rob hope from the innocent and the life from His children.
It will be then that we will know that, in the lesson of great heroes, lessons bore in blood and sacrifice, that we will know that we have never let ourselves surrender or relent in our own weakness to captivity, whether it is our own or the captivity that can be inflicted and imposed on our fellow man. It will be then that we know that our enemies and the enemies of the Lord shall never triumph and that our Heavenly Father is contending with the cause of His people, using His people to make that glorious stand for that sacred cause of freedom, liberty and justice.
Lord, grant this unto us all.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen