Sunday, September 11, 2011

What happens on September 11 after 9/11?

¡Que viva la fiesta!  I've seen many signs up around town announcing events, part of Fiesta, that take place on Sept 11.  Before 10 years ago, I wouldn't have thought twice about having a circus on Sept 11, but now, I had to ask, is that an appropriate way to acknowledge what happened?  My friend, George, was born on Sept 11.  11 years ago this date meant nothing more to him than the date his mama gave birth to him.  Now, he wonders if he should celebrate his birthday on that date.  When I lived in Santiago Chile in the year 2002-3, one of their main streets is named 11 de septiembre.  Had I been there 2 years earlier, I may not have even noticed there was a street with that title (it marks the day the coup de'etat that took place in that country in 1973).  Ignorant of Chilean history, when I saw the name of the street, I thought to myself, gee, that was nice of this country to recognize the tragedy of 9/11.  This year, Sunday Sept 11 before 10 years ago, would have simply be another Sunday in the life of the church.  The first Sunday after labor day; life as usual.  But, the media, and our memories will continue to remind us that we live in a "post-9/11" reality in the United States.  And so we will observe the events that take place 10 years ago, as well as what has come in the aftermath.  And at the heart of the worship service will be the theme of forgiveness (Matt 18:21-35), as we continue our series: The Heaven on Earth Project, A Systemic Overhaul.  As Christians, Jesus is most clear about the necessity of forgiveness.  Yet, in our society, our response when we feel someone has done us harm is the seek retribution, which we call "justice", and we are very good at holding onto bitterness and hatred instead of forgiving. This is another area where we, who seek to be disciples of Jesus, need a Systemic Overhaul.  With this in mind,  and in light of the spirit of Zozobra, we will attempt to ritualize our own need to forgive, and seek to live as more liberated and forgiving disciples in the world.