Prayer for 9/11 Remembrance (Psalm 139:7-12)

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139: 7-12)

**********************

A friend of mine has a plaque that reads, “Bidden or unbidden, God is present.” I’m not sure who spoke the words first, but I think they must have been inspired by Psalm 139. We heard the words read earlier. Now, we’re going to pray them…and we’re going to pray them in the context of 9/11. I can tell you that God was present everywhere and with everyone on September 11, 2001. I can tell you that God continues to work in and through that traumatic experience. I can tell you that, even after 9/11, God has loved you, loves you now, and will always love you….but how much more powerful will the experience be if you have the opportunity yourselves to get reassurance from God?

And so, Allen will read a line from Psalm 139, then I will suggest an image from September 11, 2001 to help you pray that line. After the prayer, you are invited to come forward and light a candle. You might come with a specific prayer in mind or simply to add a tiny piece of light to the room this day. For whatever reason, you are invited to come. I also invite you to come shoeless, as a way to signify that we all are standing on holy ground. Let us pray.

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? Remember where you were on September 11, 2001, what you were doing, your first instincts when you heard the news. Now remember—or imagine, if you don’t remember—God’s presence with you on that day. (Silence)

 

If I ascend to heaven, you are there; Think of the people who died that day. Imagine them safely in God’s arms. (Silence)

 

if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. Think of all the people who have experienced hell since that day. Imagine that, even in the harsh difficulties of their lives, God is with them, too. (Silence)

 

If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.
No matter where you have been since 9/11, no matter how your life has been impacted by that event, no matter how much poorer or more frightened or leery of your fellow human beings you might have become, no matter where your life’s journey has taken you since 9/11, imagine God beside you, leading you every step of the way, holding fast to you. Still. Always. (Silence)

 

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,”  Imagine the darkness of those days in September 2001, the dust and smoke, the grief and fear, the helplessness and hopelessness. (Silence)

 

even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.   Now, imagine God’s light breaking through your darkness. Feel the light warm your eyes, feel the light of God’s love surround you and hold you. (Silence)

 

God, we thank you that, bidden or unbidden, you always are present with us.  Amen.

 

[Candle lighting]

About reallifepastor

I'm a pastor who's working out her faith...just like everyone else.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s