Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Prayer on the 10th Anniversary of 9-11

I participate in the local religious leaders group here in Hingham (Hingham & Hull Religious Leaders Association). It's a great group of people. We meet monthly for fellowship, conversation, and to challenge one another, usually in the form of a current topic, issue, need, etc. We also have various events and services (MLK Day, Thanksgiving Service, etc.). This year, we are gathering in the afternoon on the 10th anniversary of 9-11 to have a service of remembrance for the day. We are also ringing our various chapel/church bells throughout town in the morning at the time of the second WTC building collapse.

This occasion is of mixed emotions for me. It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of how the United States has responded. I don't know all the answers. I know that my hope is in a peace that rises above the ever-contradictory "fight for peace." A lot of things have been said since then:
"It changed the world forever."
"We'll never be the same."
"We'll never forget."

I challenge the notion of these kinds of statements. I'm not sure we have changed. I think the world is pretty much the same as it was before: one big power struggle between human beings. The powerful have become stronger, the powerless have become weaker, and fear reigns. It's with these notions and others that I wrote this prayer for the 10th anniversary of that horrible day.

So Keep Us True to Our Words
Jeremy Scott

God:
9-11 happened.
We responded.
And we respond.
Help us.

We've said, "We will never forget."
So help us to do so out of respect for and in memory of those lost,
And not out of revenge toward those responsible,
For we understand that to be yours.

We've said, "We will never be the same."
So help us to bring this to fruition:
That we might not be the same as those who've sought to destroy us:
Returning fire for fire; But instead, love, despite the fire.

We've said, "We will never forget."
So help us to remember that which it takes and means to make peace;
That our re-member-ance would be all 'putting-back-together'
And not an excuse for more 'tearing apart'.

We've said, "We will never be the same."
So help us to make this true:
That this day ten years ago would indeed make us different:
Our love: only genuine;
Our hate: only of those things that are evil;
Our holding on: only to that which is good.
Our quest to outdo: only in the things of honor.

We've committed to keep shopping.
So help us spend the currencies of mercy, grace, and love,
All in the favor of the universal product-good that is peace.

So cast from us fear,
Deep into your love.

Thus, keep us true to our words.

Amen.

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