My family and I finally had the chance to sit and watch again the footage of 9/11 via the History Channel last night. After 15 years, I am still struck by the devastation, the emotions of those moments, recalling those scary moments, and wanting it to be an accident. Stunned that evil reared its ugly face. Even though evil was evident and the destruction overwhelming, those first responders, fire departments, police departments, K9 units, and military: soldiers, pilots, chaplains, and chaplain aides overcame evil with good, compassion, and strength. When there were those who were forced to leave, our men and women of the red, white, and blue willingly engaged the devastation directly, rescuing, saving, and moving rubble. These mere mortals responded with courage and determination.
Their circumstances did not define them, but how they responded to them certainly did. Their purpose was defined how they responded in compassion, overcoming evil with sacrificial love and overwhelming goodness. They responded to the tragedy out of sheer will and an innate need to right the wrong. They exemplified that when there are good people who are willing to respond in compassion and strength, evil will never win! Evil will never win because the resurrection of Jesus our Lord and Savior. It is impossible for evil to win.
Let me connect the message series: “What is My Purpose?” with the tragedy of 9/11 and the goodness of men and women who overcame evil with good. God’s purpose for our lives is not defined by our circumstances, but is defined by the generosity of God’s grace, by our relationship with God, and how we respond in faith to our circumstances. Circumstances will prod us to discover our purpose in them. God invites us to join him where he is at work, wherever that may be, and if we pay attention, we will know where; because God may be at work right in front of you without you recognizing Him. There may be a bush burning right in front of you, and you are too overwhelmed by your circumstances or too bored in your life to notice that God is at work in your lives, right now!
Wait, listen, and respond!
If you missed worship yesterday, here is the video shown about the woman at the well: https://youtu.be/5y2GlmTxpkM.
And students, this is Conjunction Junction, What’s Your Function? https://youtu.be/4AyjKgz9tKg
Do it, today! Overcome evil with grace and goodness!
Don’t forget that we are having a Sunday School picnic for our teachers, our children, their parents, and the children and their loved ones in the community.
Rev. Chuck Mitchell, Dobbins Memorial United Methodist Church