15 years ago, a morning in September...

Today we remember the tragedy of a clear September morning, 15 years ago...  Spend some time with the verses from Psalm 46, with Carl Daw's lyrics and with my prayer...

God is our refuge and our strength,
   an ever-present help in distress.
Thus we do not fear,
   though the earth be shaken
and mountains quake
   to the depths of the sea,
The Lord of hosts is with us...
- Psalm46

When Sudden Terror Tears Apart

When sudden terror tears apart
the world we thought was ours,
we find how fragile strength can be,
how limited our powers.

As tow’r and fortress fall, we watch
with disbelieving stare
and numbly hear the anguished cries
that pierce the ash-filled air.

Yet most of all we are aware
of emptiness and void:
of lives cut short, of structures razed,
of confidence destroyed.

From this abyss of doubt and fear
we grope for words to pray,
and hear our stammering tongues embrace
a timeless Kyrie.

Have mercy, Lord,
give strength and peace
and make our courage great;
restrain our urge to seek revenge,
to turn our hurt to hate.

Help us to know your steadfast love,
your presence near as breath;
rekindle in our hearts the hope
of life that conquers death.

By Rev. Carl P. Daw, Jr. who  wrote this hymn to commemorate the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon September 11. The hymn debuted at the noon Eucharist at the Episcopal Church Center, New York City, on September 18.   (2001 Hope Publishing Co.)

Let us pray...

Gracious God,

All good gifts come from your hand,
and into our clumsy grasp
you entrust the precious realities
of life, justice and peace.

We remember this day
how fragile is the gift of peace
and how vulnerable are we
in each other’s hands.

We remember those who died
and those who mourn their loss...

We remember those whose courage
gave us a new model for bravery...

We remember those who gave their lives
in their efforts to save others...

We remember that day, that sunny morning
when the borders of our nation
were broken through to the depths of our hearts...

We remember and we pray
for the healing and peace
that only you can give
and that we must share...

Bring us to the day, O God,
when war is but a memory
and peace our way of life...

Bring us to the day, O God,
when the harvest of justice
will nourish the people of all nations...

Hasten the advent of that day, O God
and let our pride not stand in its way...


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