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When Nations are In Uproar

Category: Special Sermons


Like so many of us, I remember vividly where I was and what I was doing when it happened. I had just finished a tennis match at College Park Racquet Club in Bannockburn, IL and was sitting in the men's lounge. The television was on but I wasn't paying any attention to it until a man said to me, "Isn't that strange? A plane just mistakenly flew into the World Trade Center in New York." So, I looked up and saw the screen with smoke coming out of the building and remember thinking, "I've never seen anything like that.".

As I was watching, a second plane flew into the World Trade Center. Then we all knew. There was no "mistake" about it. Something was afoot and that something was not good. What I saw via television was one of a series of four coordinated suicide attacks against the United States (and, ultimately against the world community) staged and carried through by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. There were a total of 2,996 deaths, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims. It all happened in our country on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. We have spent the past ten years seeking to figure out one of the most culture-transforming tragedies in history.

I was already scheduled to be the speaker at a seminary and graduate school chapel for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School at 11 am that day. We also cancelled classes at the undergraduate college and called an all-university convocation. I remember going to my president's office, taking out my Bible and turning (almost by reflex) to Psalm 46:

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea...
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

I then scratched out the main points to the sermon I will deliver this weekend at Lake Avenue Church. We will take time to remember what happened ten years ago in our nation. We will see that, although our understanding of the events has changed, the God who makes a difference in such times has not. He is still our refuge. He is still with us.

To His Glory,

Dr. Greg Waybright
Senior Pastor