On a day overwhelmed in American Pietism, I have chosen to ignore most of television, radio, and even the newspaper. I won't watch or listen any news program. I won't watch or listen to any remembrance ceremonies. I won't read our weekly edition of the Denver Post.
As today is a day that we are never to forget, I ask, "What about December 7?" "What about April 19?" I could go on a ask about other days, but really there isn't much hoopla about the these two days, and there certainly isn't much for others. In fact, the day proclaimed as one that will "forever live in infamy" doesn't, and hardly anyone outside of Oklahoma City knows the significance of April 19. So much for American Pietism.
So, no, it's not that I don't remember. I remember quite well, in fact. I simply choose not to celebrate an attack on our soil. Call it Patriot Day; call it whatever you want—today will be seen as a day of celebration, not a day of remembrance. Oh, they'll say we're celebrating freedom or the enduring American spirit or whatever, and many will remember the lives lost ten years ago today, but I can't help but think that it will be as an after thought. Maybe, in another 10 years, freedom and the American spirit will be all that we'll remember (and at our current rate, these will be only memories).
But, for me, today isn't simply September 11. Today is Sunday. I'll be doing something else today in remembrance. But more than in remembrance, I'll be receiving my Lord's Body and Blood for the forgiveness of my sins. "Do this in remembrance of Me," Jesus said. And so, I'll be recognizing the institution of the Lord's Supper with those words.
Ironically, forgiveness is the theme of the lessons today. Forgive your brother who perpetrates an evil against you and forget it. It goes so far as what is read in today's Old Testament reading, when Joseph's brothers send word to him asking for forgiveness after their father died. "You meant it for evil," Joseph tells them of their selling him into slavery, "but God meant it for good." So it is of every evil that God allows and sends our way—illness, cancer, drunk drivers, natural disasters, even terrorist attacks—all tragedies in their own right, but evil that God uses for the good of those who trust in Him.
So it is today, as we remember the evil that 19 men inflicted upon this land of ours. But more than that, as we remember the evil that several men inflicted upon One, as God-in-the-flesh hung dead upon a Roman cross at the behest of the ruling Jewish council who incited the crowds in Jerusalem, the sacrifice of the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Both of these men meant for evil, but God meant for good (for those who love Him). Never forget..."do this in remembrance of Me."