Live long and prosper. September 8th was the 55th anniversary of the series premiere of Star Trek. The original series was cancelled by NBC after only three seasons but Gene Roddenberry, the Great Bird of the Galaxy, would eventually get a motion picture and another series on television. Today there are multiples franchises of films and I think we’re up to nine series if you count everything. But it all started this week 55 years ago in 1966 with what Roddenberry described as “Wagon Train to the stars.”
This is the week for anniversaries and we’ve got a bunch of them.
Patriot Day, September 11 each year, is a day of prayer and remembrance for all the victims and their families of the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. This is a reprint of What Makes Us Stronger: Perspective on 9/11, written last year for the 10th anniversary.
The goal of terrorism is to disrupt the normal activities of a group by paralyzing its members with fear. A decade later we can look back on the terror attacks of 9/11 with both historic and Christian perspective. Continue reading →
When God speaks to Moses from the burning bush, he knows that Pharaoh will not let the Hebrews go “unless compelled by a mighty hand.” God has a series of signs and wonders in store for Egypt. There comes a point when Pharaoh would have been willing to let them go and we’re told that God hardened his heart, because he was not done demonstrating his power. It was all part of God’s plan.
I did not intend to preach a sermon featuring 9/11 on the 10th anniversary. I decided to use text from Genesis 15, when God met with Abram (not yet Abraham) and renewed his covenant to make of him a great nation. God explains that it will not happen right away; as a matter of fact it will not happen for another 400 years.
Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Gen. 15:13-14
The goal of terrorism is to disrupt the normal activities of a group by paralyzing its members with fear. A decade later we can look back on the terror attacks of 9/11 with both historic and Christian perspective.
The World Trade Center towers in New York represented the financial strength of capitalism. The Pentagon in D.C. is the headquarters of our nation’s military prowess. And while the target of Flight 93 is subject to speculation, the White House and Capitol buildings are the literal seat of our Federal Government. Not only would large numbers of individuals be injured and killed, our very institutions would also be under attack. Nearly 3,000 lives ended as a direct result of terrorist action, a reality that should not be downplayed. But in another sense the ultimate goal of the 9/11 terrorists was never achieved. Continue reading →
There is an old saying that goes “You can’t believe everything you hear.” In this day and age, what with viral videos, soundbite political ads, Twittering, mass e-mail forwards and ever-shortening attention spans, we do tend to believe everything we hear. Research is time consuming and considered perhaps somewhat unnecessary in the information age. This is especially true if a piece of information creates an emotional response. We hear something that makes us mad, and in a blind rage forward e-mails, talk out of our heads, or fire off a heated blog post. Does it matter whether or not the info is true?
Last Wednesday I asked the question “Would Jesus burn a Koran?” I was responding to recent events in the news regarding Terry Jones and his Gainesville, FL church. Jones and company will be hosting Burn a Koran Day on September 11th, marking the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.
That post was somewhat stream of conscience as I worked through the issues and hoped we would all arrive at the same conclusion. I have worked those ideas into a sermon, with more focus on exactly what Jesus would do and why. The major points are:
In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus teaches us to live counter-culturally. He speaks on anger, retaliation, going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, and the golden rule. Continue reading →