Tuesday, September 11, 2007
A Painful and Necessary Anniversary
I do not need to remind any of you what today represents. In a way this is the new Pearl Harbor Day. We remember this day not as a victory, but as a tragic event in the history of our country and the horrible loss of life that resulted. It was a day we were invaded as a nation by hostile forces. It was a day we were violently attacked. It was a day that changed our country forever.
9-11 is the "ground zero" of the subsequent military operations since that day, and a reminder of the continued sacrifice of life in the war against terror. The shadow of 2001 stretches over us even now. The rules changed that day. Evil took on a new incarnation. The wars of past eras have transformed into a reality that resembles a mine field of random explosive potential more than a clearly demarcated line of battle.
In many ways this new reality also reflects the world of evil in which each believer wages daily war against the demons of hell. In the life of faith one does not see the soldiers of Satan neatly lined up like the revolutionary British troops, glowing in their red coats. The demons are terrorists. They hide under the guise even of the angels of light. They blend into the world and try to convince us that they are not there. Then when we are unaware and unprepared, they attack. Too often they enjoy the advantage of the 'element of surprise,' since people freqently choose not to notice their presence and work.
Yet even if we cannot see their faces, we can detect their footprints. We know where they have been, and to some degree, we even know where they are now: The vitriol of hate-filled words, the callous destructive attacks on character and family, the warped twisting of truth. As our country is called to be "ever vigilant" to renewed terrorist activity on the home front, Christians are likewise cautioned to be aware as well. We are still at war and will be until we die.
9-11 is a painful reminder, but a necessary one. Too often we live in subtle denial of the evil around us, wanting to believe in a 'nice world' that never existed this side of Eden. While I hope that one day our efforts in Iraq will come to a successful and peaceful close, I do not expect that to mark the end of terror. Not by a long shot. Evil will remain. And according to the scriptures, it will even increase as the End draws ever closer. So, be aware and alert, and remain protected in the armor of God, fighting faithfully with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. One day our war will end and we will go home. E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come!