1 Peter 4:12-13 – Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (NIV)
Revelation 18:17 – In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin! (NIV)
The sky is blue, with only a few puffy white clouds drifting by. I saw the last of the diverted aircraft landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Everywhere I went it seemed strangely silent.
Tragedy has struck our neighbours to the south in the United States and it involves us all. The world has been awakened by the tragedy of a terrorist attack.
Never have I been so close to an attack of such violence and magnitude. I have only heard of war in far-off countries — but never so close. One speaks to another in a store, and individuals just want to be alone with their thoughts and prayers, if they are so inclined.
I came to the computer and in my e-mail learned that John, the son of our Technical and Oversight Editor, Robin Ross, had been so very close to death, as he was working only 200 feet from the World Trade Center, that was levelled to the ground. Miraculously, he escaped without a physical scratch. Praise be to God.
As we whirl in utter chaos, my thinking turns to the Christian communities for stability. It is God who is in control, though the natural thought of bewildered people is anger and frustration. We must all pray for God to comfort the bereaved and care for those who are injured, especially those not yet found among the rubble.
There is work to do, to help with blood and supplies, and hospitality for stranded passengers, but my desire at this moment is that all who are in reach of this message pray for peace. Let us pray that the violence will not continue, and for God to bless the nations.
Prayer: God, give us strength we never knew we had. Give us understanding amidst the darkness that has fallen at our feet. Grant us humility and Your grace as we pray for one another in love and in trust in You. For it is in You we live and move and have our being. Dear Jesus, we pray through You who sits at the Father's right hand. Grant us peace in our time. Amen.