Remembrance on Sept 11
Fr. Philip D. Eberhart
One Nation, Under God, In Whom We Trust
ONE NATION, UNDER GOD
This morning is the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attack on New York. We all know that and have already seen some of the footage again, and already spent some time in prayer for the families of those who were lost. We’ve all read commentary or heard the talking heads reflecting on various aspects of our national psyche or the spiritual condition of the nation, 10 years later. All of those things are good for us to reflect on and especially, to pray about.
This morning I want to reflect on the foundation on which we are built, and on the practices that will once again make us a great and Godly nation - One Nation, Under God!
Those who would strike God from the realm of public discourse have made it their personal war in the last decade to do all they can to minimize and threaten the use of the Name of God or of Jesus Christ and the practice of prayer in the public arena. Those who are sensitive to such pressure, the Politically Correct media and politicians, have cooperated in large measure with an attempt to silence the Christian voice of America.
But today, especially as we remember that day 10 years ago, I see a tidal wave of prayer happening around our nation. It begins in every church – every little gathering of two or three who call out to Jesus today; in every visible remembrance of that terrible day, we are reminded of the testimony of sacrifice and of the power of unified prayer.
Prayer is at the heart of what it means for us to live as “One Nation, Under God.” Such an endeavor is quite impossible without the almighty power of God. George Washington, at the first Presidential Inauguration said, “…it would be peculiarly improper to omit in the first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe; who presides in the council of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States.”
As we say from time to time before we make our offerings: “All we have comes of Thee, O Lord, and of Thine own do we offer thee.” All that we have in this great land comes from the Hand of God in response to the prayers of His people, across this land and across time. We are a nation that is rich in prayer. And that is our greatest hope! Prayer changes us and prayer moves the Hand of God!
I’ve made reference before to the calls throughout our history, by President Lincoln, President Truman and others who have called the nation to pray, fast and to times of humiliation and repentance. From the times of the first Prayer in Congress by the Rev. Mr. Duche, the call to prayer has resounded throughout our history, and is resounding today across our land. The current state of our nation spiritually is darker than perhaps I have ever seen it. The forces of godlessness have asserted themselves to such an extent that much of what was unthinkable a decade ago is now common in our land. In the days after the 9-11 attacks, Bryant Gumble on Today asked Anne Graham Lotz the question, “Where was God?” to which she replied, “God was being a gentleman. We have asked him to leave us alone; we have pushed him out of our public discourse, and banished him from our schools. Why now, would we think he would be protecting us?”
Once again it is a time for us to call for prayer – fall on your face prayer – cry out to God for mercy prayer! Our nation has swung in the past decade to a place that was unthinkable on 9-11-01 and now we are here on 9-11-11, a nation who has pushed God even further out of our common consciousness and public discourse, and yet.
On this day, there are prayers. Here among us and in hundreds of thousands of churches just like us across this land. There are special prayer gatherings tonight, joining our voices in prayer: three that I know of on the front range, in Castle Rock, in Denver and in Greeley, that will draw thousands to an evening of remembrance and rededication to prayer and holiness, for the sake of our One Nation – Under God! Tomorrow all day, at the World Prayer Center in Colorado Spring, prayers will be offered as well, for our nation, for our churches and for the witness of Christ across our land.
Friends, we live in extraordinary times. The forces of evil are pressing in on us on every side, but where darkness abounds, the LIGHT becomes all the more visible.
My prayer for us this day, is that we will become a people of prayer again, across this land. That we will look to the heritage of our fathers and mothers in the faith who forged our freedoms in the furnace of affliction and conflict. That we will stand up and do our part, not only in prayer, but in action.
Prayer changes us. It prepares us, just a Isaiah was prepared by being in God’s presence. He was cleansed and purified by the burning coal from the altar of God, and his response to God’s inquiry, “Who will go for us? Whom shall I send?” was “Here am I! Send me.”
In God We Trust!!
How many of you have coins around, perhaps in your pocket or purse? What is the one phrase that is common to all our coinage? There are two actually: E Pluribus Unum (From Many, One!) and “In God We Trust.” Our nation stands on these two realities, friends. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the root of our freedoms in America. Patrick Henry made it clear when he said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” This foundation of faith is written into the fabric of our documents, is it etched on the sacred walls of our halls of power, it is in the painting and statuary in the halls of Congress and on the buildings of our nations capitol. It CANNOT BE REMOVED; not it MUST NOT be removed… IT CANNOT BE REMOVED!!! To remove the symbols of the Christian religion from our capitol alone, would deface the very structures themselves. The doors to the Supreme Court room are 20 foot wood doors with the Ten Commandments written on them! Above the bench of the Chief Justice stands a bust relief of Moses the Law-giver of Israel. These stand forever, as a testimony of our heritage – of the very builders of the buildings as well as the builders of the nation.
IN GOD WE TRUST!
Every time you pick up a coin, I challenge you to look at it anew. Turn it in your hand until these words arise in your heart. Make them a declaration over your own life and over the land that we call home. Over your address and every address where you walk.
IN GOD WE TRUST!
Make it your every day prayer for our nation, for its leaders and for its people.
And May God give us what we pray for!
I want to end with a video that I was sent this week. I have visited and stood in Room 219, just off the west side of the rotunda; a small chapel that seats about 20 with an open bible and places to kneel in humility before God. Take a listen to a different side of our lawmakers in Washington that I think you will find refreshing and encouraging. Then we will pray together.
Video Edress: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4BELcshdtg&feature=youtu.be
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