Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively come the vital issues of ours day. The is additionally the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer the the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit the comments top top current concerns through a biblical lens.

You are watching: I miss 9/12

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On this day two decades ago, the church ns pastored in Dallas held a community service in an answer to the 9/11 attacks. We invite ministers from throughout the denominational spectrum to lead in prayer, worship, and also proclamation. Our sanctuary, which seat 2,200 people, was filled come overflowing.

There to be something in us that knew we necessary each other.

Many the the retrospectives I experienced on the twenty anniversary that 9/11 made the same point. One human being wrote: “I miss out on 9/12. Ns would never ever want an additional 9/11, but I miss out on the America the 9/12. Shop ran the end of flags come sell due to the fact that they to be being flown everywhere. Civilization were Americans prior to they to be upper/lower class, Jewish/Christian, Republican/Democrat. . . . On 9/12, what mattered much more to us was what unified us, not split us.”

In times of crisis, we discover that us cannot carry out life on our own. We were created community. A coal taken out of the fire goes out.

What to be true two decades ago is just as true today.

“A gnawing feeling of being unfulfilled”

We discover unity as soon as we admit that we are facing difficulties greater 보다 our individual capacities and also respond by transforming to a transforming power we trust and also serve together.

Are we facing difficulties greater 보다 our capacities today?

People in brand-new York City exposed to toxic pollutants indigenous 9/11 are still getting sick. Much more than 111,000 human being are enrolled in the civilization Trade center Health Program, which gives free medical care to civilization whose health problems are potentially linked to the dust from the attacks.

More world will die of COVID-19 in the next two job than died on 9/11. Public official in India are racing come contain break out of Nipah virus that is deadlier than COVID-19.

President Biden’s setup requiring vaccinations for approximately one hundreds million american is being taken on by many and also opposed by many. United state Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said newly that al-Qaeda might seek a comeback from in ~ Afghanistan.

Some specialists are predicting that the next significant international terrorist assault on the us is most likely to take the form of a cyberattack. Brand-new research warns that a solar storm could cause an “Internet apocalypse” that would certainly keep lot of society offline because that weeks or months at a time.

Unsurprisingly, tension disorders space the most common mental condition in the US, affecting fourty million adults in our country. In Making All things New, Henri Nouwen spoke for many of us:

“Beneath our worrying lives... Something else is walk on. While our minds and hearts space filled with numerous things, we wonder exactly how we deserve to live approximately the expectations imposed upon united state by ourselves and also others. We have a deep feeling of unfulfillment. While busy with and worried about many things, we rarely feel important satisfied, at peace, or in ~ home. A gnawing sense of gift unfulfilled underlies our filled lives.”


A chair in the center of the room

Does a transforming strength exist we have the right to trust and serve together?

The first-century Roman world was as divided and also divisive together our culture is today. Relational walls in between Jews and Gentiles, men and women, and slaves and masters conquered their culture (cf. Galatians 3:28). The only source of true unified for beforehand Christians was found in their common commitment to Christ.

This is why we discover Paul urging his other believers in Corinth: “I appeal to you, brothers, by the surname of our mr Jesus Christ, that every one of you agree, and also that there be no divisions amongst you, yet that friend be unified in the exact same mind and also the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). He made the exact same appeal in Philippi: “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having actually the very same love, gift in complete accord and also of one mind” (Philippians 2:2).

And in Colossae: “Put top top love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14). And also in Ephesus: “Maintain the unit of the soul in the link of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). And also in Rome: “Live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16).

Peter made a similar appeal: “All of you, have actually unity the mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a soft heart, and a humble mind” (1 Peter 3:8).

We find unity as soon as we recognize we cannot carry out life on ours own and we rotate to the author of life together. Placed a chair in the center of the room and also its residents along the walls. The closer they concerned the chair, the closer they concerned each other.


“Seeing the challenge of God”

I great this 9/13 were much more like the 9/13 i experienced twenty years ago. But wishing isn’t enough. We have to admit that we are not adequate to meet the obstacles we face and also seek the help of our Father and also our faith family. Once we do, we will certainly be catalysts because that the spiritual rebirth our culture needs therefore desperately.

Twenty year ago, Jim Jenkins was a marine chaplain serving through the shore Guard as part of the Chaplains’ Emergency response Team. He traveled to soil Zero job after 9/11. End the following two weeks, that ministered come rescue and recovery workers as they sought bodies, comforted those in ~ a makeshift morgue, and also accompanied families as lock watched stays of loved ones removed from the rubble.

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Jenkins learned that he needed help beyond himself. As a result of the 2 weeks he invested at ground Zero, he developed a precancerous condition in his sinuses and also esophagus because of breathing in toxic chemicals. He was diagnosed v PTSD and has recurring nightmares come this day.

But he has also learned that the One he offer is enough for united state all. Also in his darkest moments, he feels God’s hand comforting him: “Something happens once you pray, when you cry out to God with groanings too deep because that words. Wherever us are, the lord will accomplish us appropriate in the middle of our brokenness.”

And Jenkins learned that once we share ours hope with others, God offers us to attract them to himself. “I speak a lot around the guarantees of God and also of the holy Spirit, the Comforter,” that reflected. “I yes, really felt that, when I was ministering to people, they weren’t see my face. I believe they were seeing the confront of God and also experiencing his favor.”