Devotional: September 10, 2021
Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.
Isaiah 60: 18 NRSV
This is the eve of the twentieth anniversary of 9-11. Given the painful memories that so many are experiencing as our nation prepares to reflect on this milestone, I was drawn to one of the promises in scripture.
This promise appears in various forms in different places in the Bible, but the essence remains the same: the violence we are experiencing, or have experienced, will one day give way to peace.
It can be tempting to look at the violence in the world, not only with 9-11, but at other times and locations, and suppose the violence is inevitable, and endless. Even worse, some may even be tempted to conclude that the violence is God’s will.
However, look at this promise from the Lord, “Violence shall no more be heard in your land…” While we do not know how this goal of peace will be met, this passage from the prophet Isaiah is inspiring to me, and hopefully to you. We are not to look at passages in the bible and predict when or where, for no one knows the time or the place for future events. Instead, we are to place our trust and faith in His promises. We know that one day, whether we are in heaven or still on earth, the walls of destruction and devastation will come down, and we will shout praises to our Lord God Almighty!
Tomorrow will mark the 20th year when so much destruction took place in our country. Not only physical destruction, but the loss of our sense of security, and so much more. As we contemplate the meaning of this day, let us cling to one who brings hope, and renewal, and life, and even resurrection…
God of all our hopes and dreams,
Our lives are often affected by challenges, pain and suffering, which have lasting impacts upon our lives. Protect us. Help us to resist the urge to be cynical and negative and hopeless. Help me to grieve who and what we have lost, even as I cling to Your promises of salvation, and praise. I claim Your hopeful vision and promise for our nation, and all the nations of the world. I pray this prayer in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Amen.