As a nation, we take time today to reflect on the events of 9/11 over a decade ago, the flames, the terror, the senseless loss of life. I pray healing over the families forever torn apart, the people’s lives forever changed. How can we redeem the carnage? Is there hope in loss? Can we end nationalism and embrace universal love?
A Kingdom Ruled By Love
There is hope. End nationalism on earth, embrace God’s kingdom in heaven. Close your eyes to the terror outside, and focus deep within your soul. Hear the whisper of the Spirit calling you to childlike faith. Jesus taught us about a kingdom that transcends national and religious borders. A kingdom without fear. A kingdom ruled by Love.
Warped religiosity and destructive nationalism spawned the events of 9/11. Muslim jihadists, believing in a nationalistic Islamic state, drove airplanes into buildings in a murderous act of terror. Innocent civilians lost their lives, families were destroyed, and a nation was shaken to the core.
In a nationalistic response, the American government sent the military to wage war on countries tangentially involved. Because of our military actions, innocent civilians lost their lives, families were destroyed, and nations were left in unstable ruins. All war affects the enemy and the civilian alike. Terror and the thirst for power drive nationalism.
Of course not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Americans support a militaristic response. Far from it. Still, this day of remembrance invites us to reflect on the dangers of nationalism. What if we all decided to follow Jesus, make peace with our enemies, and embrace the Father’s kingdom?
If America did this, really embraced the peace and love of Christianity, took care of the poor, forgave our enemies, and pursued the the Father’s kingdom, we would shake the core of the earth.
Nationalism teaches us to make our global neighbor into our enemy, to destroy that enemy through hijacked planes and automatic weapons, to hate that enemy through boots on the ground and bombs in the air. Not what Jesus taught at all.
Jesus taught us to love our global neighbor, to embrace them as a special child of the Creator, to learn from their cultural customs and worldview, and to share our culture and views in a universal kingdom of love.
Nationalism teaches us to chase power and land, to raise a flag over the vanquished enemy as the blood waters the land.
The kingdom teaches us to see the blood, understand that the fallen enemy was someone’s son or brother, a mother leaving behind orphaned little ones, a young scientist who could have unlocked the cure to cancer.
When one person falls through violence, we all suffer. On this day of remembrance, I invite you to end nationalism and hatred in your heart. Start down the kingdom path of light and love. Find God’s kingdom.
End nationalism. Find life.