Sept 11, 2019

On this 18th anniversary of the event, Father Linsky asked how we were changed as a result of the September 11 attacks.

On that Tuesday morning, I was playing golf at Windermere Golf Course on Longcreek Plantation near Blythewood. One of the tee boxes was at the home of one of the men in our foursome, and, as we prepared to tee off, his wife came running from their house yelling, “We are under attack in New York City!”  Well, that certainly put a damper on the golf for that day.

I rushed home, only a mile or two away, and found Karen glued to the TV and on the phone with our son, Greg, who was living and working in Manhattan. All he and his co-workers knew was that there were lots of sirens in the streets and smoke from lower Manhattan, and he was relaying information from Karen to his co-workers about the attack and the falling of the towers.

I told her to find out where he could walk out of the city so I could get in the car and drive up there and meet him and bring him home. That is how serious it looked at that moment.

I don’t remember any particulars of the next seven days, except that Greg soon assured us that the attack was limited to the WTC and that he was fine and did not need to be evacuated. And I am pretty sure that one week later I was back on the golf course since that was our important and regularly scheduled Tuesday game. Saturday was an important golf day also, but I don’t know if I played on September 15th. I suspect I did.

About a year later, I began reducing my golfing activity and started classes at the Lutheran seminary, but, no, I apologize for a disappointing and anticlimactic ending, but I am not claiming that 9/11 had anything to do with that lifestyle change.

But, whatever the reason, I am thankful that I have not spent two days per week on the golf course for the past 18 years. That would have been a lot of golf, and I would probably have remained a sorry golfer and would have been too tired to do anything else worthwhile.

But, back to the original question, here is a short video about a Catholic priest, Father Judge, and a New York City fire fighter, Tom Colucci, for whom everything changed as a result of 9/11.

A Christian Nation?

As we were sharing thoughts this morning, the following questions went through my mind:

  1. Can the USA be reasonably considered a “Christian Nation?”
  2. Should the USA be considered a “Christian Nation?”
  3. Given that several Middle Eastern nations are clearly and proudly Islamic, is it reasonable that uninformed citizens there consider the USA a “Christian Nation?”
  4. Is there enough evidence to convict us of being a “Christian Nation?”
  5. Were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan appropriate “Christian” responses to the 911 attacks?

I wonder how our Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,  would have The Church, the Body of Christ, respond to such as THIS.

Loving the Enemy

The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman is very informative about what the relationship between Christians and Muslims should be. The first two sentences shed some light on where this story is going because Jews would often avoid Samaria, enemy territory, when traveling from Judea to Galilee. So maybe the reason Jesus “had to pass through Samaria” was theological and not geographical. We can be sure that the Apostle John did not use that phrase lightly. You can read the whole beautiful story HERE.

If you wonder about the original language and whether it was translated accurately, it is always helpful to look at a list of the English translations of the verse to see if some translated it differently. You can easily create such as list as HERE. It is interesting that only two of these leave out the necessity angle and those two, VOICE and PHILLIPS, are not translations but paraphrases, so, beware of paraphrases. Message (MSG) is a paraphrase also, but it includes the necessity of passing through Samaria. Here is the Greek word.

And, by the way, here is an earlier post on why the Jews and Samaritans were at odds.

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