Our hope and prayer with the Sept 10/11 weekend was that as we remember the events of 10 years ago we would be reminded of our unchanging God in the midst of a unsure world.  As we landed on what songs would be part of the worship service I began to do a lot of memorizing.  As it turns out, a lot of the songs we chose were hymns which had a lot of verses and a lot of lyrics.  The hymns were O God Our Help In Ages Past, On Christ The Solid Rock, and How Firm A Foundation.  They were all songs I was familiar with from my early days in church but I didn’t have much of them memorized.  I began to work through these songs and I was overwhelmed by the power of these lyrics.  Since the service I’ve committed to keeping these powerful lyrics in my mind.  I wonder if you would want to do the same.  Below are some of my favorite verses that we sang this weekend.  Why don’t you spend the day today trying to memorize one of these verses and let these timeless lyrics minister to you in the days ahead.

Christ The Solid Rock
By Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

O God Our Help In Ages Past
By Isaac Watts

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

How Firm A Foundation
By John Keith

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Finally, I can’t reflect on the service without recalling the powerful words of Lisa Beamer.  As you may remember, Lisa Beamer is the widow of one of the heroes of flight 93 which went down in Pennsylvania.  She joined our congregation a year later to reflect on her response to the tragedy of 9/11.  In preparation for the service this past weekend, Lisa shared these closing words with us:

“Memorializing 9/11, while bringing back some sadness and maybe some fear, will inevitably also evoke hope in human resilience and for some, an eternal perspective that this world is not the end-game.  But these responses are not enough for Christians.  In the last 10 years as the 21st Century American branch of the Church, I hope we have been challenged to understand in a more mature and productive way that by God’s desire and design, we are His agents in a global community.  With eyes wide open to the full scope of humanity, I hope we increasingly see our purpose as Christ’s disciplines is to join His work of redemption and restoration both locally and globally.

While God’s heart was certainly broken by the events of 9/11, we cannot be ignorant of the fact that humanity around the globe struggles every day with all sorts of desperate circumstances (some of which make 9/11 pale in comparison).  If the American Church understands and empathizes with that place of hurt, fear and powerlessness a little bit more now, we should use our collective experience to proactively seek out and serve those in similar circumstances, becoming more effective servants, peace makers, healers and redeemers.

I hope in services around the country this year, American Christians are reminded that our call is not to patriotism or even to a mere sense of hopefulness, as these can become self-serving.  Our call is to Christlike servanthood, for which 9/11 may have prepared us well.”  (Lisa Beamer)


Posted by Aaron Niequist on 09.18.11 under Lead Worship, Weekend Experience.

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