With These Hands: Remembering 9/11 and Praying for a Peaceful World

Father Mychal Judge(first reported casualty of 9/11) and St. Francis of Assisi, from Google.com images, artist unknown

All this week, I’ve been immersed in stories and memories of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, as I prepare for A Service of Remembrance during the worship services tomorrow morning, the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Although I’ll wait till tomorrow afternoon to post the sermon that the senior pastor and I will preach, I thought I’d share some of the stories and images that struck a particular chord with me along with my favorite Bruce Springsteen song from the 9/11 inspired album The Rising,  “My City of Ruins” (2002).  The latter (which Springsteen sang at the WTC Tribute Concert in the days following 9/11 and 10 months before the release of The Rising) poignantly expresses how many of us continue to hope and pray that God’s love and peace will prevail amidst the evil, violence and hate…

Memories of Sept. 11’s First Casualty Endure” by National Public Radio

“We’ve Changed But How?” by Julie Clawson for Sojourners Magazine

“Let’s Keep Rolling” by Rick Reilly for ESPN.com

9/11 Ten Years Later by John Pattison for Relevant Magazine

There is a blood red circle
On the cold dark ground
And the rain is falling down
The church door’s thrown open
I can hear the organ’s song
But the congregation’s gone
My city of ruins
My city of ruins

Now the sweet bells of mercy
Drift through the evening trees
Young men on the corner
Like scattered leaves,
The boarded up windows,
The empty streets
While my brother’s down on his knees
My city of ruins
My city of ruins

Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!
Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!
Come on, rise up! Come on, rise up!

Now’s there’s tears on the pillow
Darlin’ where we slept
And you took my heart when you left
Without your sweet kiss
My soul is lost, my friend
Tell me how do I begin again?
My city’s in ruins
My city’s in ruins

Now with these hands,
With these hands,
With these hands,
I pray Lord
With these hands,
With these hands,
I pray for the strength, Lord
With these hands,
With these hands,
I pray for the faith, Lord
We pray for your love, Lord
We pray for the lost, Lord
We pray for this world, Lord
We pray for the strength, Lord
We pray for the strength, Lord

Come on
Come on
Come on, rise up
Come on, rise up
Come on, rise up
Come on, rise up
Come on, rise up
Come on, rise up
Come on, rise up
Come on, rise up
Come on, rise up

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