Sep 12, 2011

Calvary, The World's Greatest Trade Center - Baltimore, MD - September 2011

 Yesterday morning I, along with so many other Americans, reflected on where we were 10 years ago when the New York City sky Line was forever altered by American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175,, The Pentagon was made the target of American Airlines Flight 77, and Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania, near Shanksville became the final resting place for United Airlines, flight 93 and its 44 passengers.


I was in my junior year at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and was on the rowing team. I'd gone to practice early that morning. I returned to my on campus apartment, took a power nap, and had just gotten out of the shower and flipped on the Today Show shortly after the first plane hit the first tower. I can remember being propped with my back against our couch, hair still in a towel with my knees drawn to my chest as the second plane swung into the television frame and in what felt like slow motion, it penetrated the second tower. The campus stopped, as we sat and watched in fear as the rest of that day unfolded.

The question I remember everyone asking that day and in the aftermath is "how could something like this happen?" and “where was God in all of this?” Yesterday morning when I read in our church’s order of service that the sermon would be based on Job 1, I didn't expect that after 10 years of wondering that I would walk away from the sanctuary feeling that I understood, even just a little bit better, 'how something like this could happen’.

NOTE TO READER: I don't claim to be any sort of religious authority so please read this with that understanding. I am only a child of God seeking to do His Will and know him better each day.

Before yesterday I'd only known of the "Will of God", which always begged the question, "How could God's Will allow something this awful to happen?" I'd never heard of God's Will divided into two parts.

First, there is the Perceptive Will of God, which is the fact that God's desire for us, above all, is to live sinless lives. Just as any parent wishes the best for their child, he only wants the best for us, His children. Second there is the Decretive Will of God. This part of God's Will I believe is where free will lies. To tie it back to the Perceptive Will of God, every parent desires the best for their child. We want to give them the world and then we want them to take what we've given them and become good, positive, God fearing, productive parts of the world. However, we live in a fallen, world that is full of sin, and our Heavenly Father has given us the choice. His Will for us is to choose a path without sin, but He knows us and has known us since before we were born.

"And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matthew 10:30

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13.

As much as he loves us and wants us to cast off our sinful ways and follow Him, that love for us does not trump his holiness. It is his Decretive Will that ensures that even as Gods creation our sins will not go unpunished. Our repentance is necessary for our eternal salvation. We must never forget that salvation is God’s greatest hope for his children.

I’ll close with this, as we reflect on September 11, 2001. We are still, 10 years later, searching for reason and meaning in such violence, devastation, and loss at the World Trade Center. We question where God is when we lose loved ones, and when bad things happen. We wonder how a loving God could allow this to happen. In this time of reflection, let us not forget that there was an even greater sacrifice given at an even greater “World Trade Center”.



Calvary is the world’s greatest “trade center’. It is the place where God traded his only son, sinless and pure, so that our lives could be saved in eternal salvation. He has endured loss and tragedy and He understands our pain but he also knows that it is for good, even if we can’t see or even fathom that good. God is in control!

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” -Job 1:20-22

Now that is POWERFUL STUFF!!!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!