A Promise

14 years ago this day, the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists. Another hijacked jet was brought down in Pennsylvania by courageous passengers and crew of that flight. Those of us old enough to recall that day have our own personal memories of it.

Three weeks following the attack, my denomination, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod placed full page ads in the Oct. 2 editions of the New York Times and USA Today to share our thoughts and prayers for our country. Below is the text of that ad. It serves us well today:

A Promise – The New York Times and USA Today – October 2, 2011

In the aftermath of our nation’s tragedy three weeks ago today, we of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod wholeheartedly offer our love and prayers for those tens of thousands of people whose lives have been drastically altered by the sudden loss of their loved ones and friends.

At such a time it is natural to wonder how we can get on with life.

Still heavy with the burden or our enormous loss, we face the potential for even more danger at our doorstep. And as we look out upon the world seeking a promise of comfort and hope, we may see only darkness.

Yet we are not the first people to suffer such darkness, nor to long for such a promise.

David in the Old Testament, in time of great personal and national distress, looked to God and took comfort in His promise: “The Lord is my shepherd … Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”

Jesus, to whom the Scriptures refer as our “Good Shepherd,” spoke words that are particularly poignant right now: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

That Good Shepherd understands suffering and death … and His own death and resurrection promise hope and comfort to us all.

In these days of great personal and national trial, it is important to remember the words of St. Paul as we struggle with ‘getting on with life’: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

And that’s His promise!

Rev. Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, President
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
St. Louis, MO

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