On September 11th, our walls are broken down and our gates are burned with fire — we remember this day ten years ago when four passenger flights are hijacked and thousands of people — not only Americans — are murdered on our soil. Another day “which lives in infamy.”
The names of the lost are read aloud through the late morning and early afternoon at the memorial fountain at the site of the World Trade Center; each name with heavy meaning for the family to which he or she belongs.
The new buildings are under construction, glittering mirrored sides rising in a man-made beauty to a gorgeous God-made sky. Miniature flags — standing in the carved letters of the names of those fallen on 09-11-01 — wave gently in the breeze of this Sunday morning. Someone rightly says that our attackers can not claim victory — for though a part of our land is scarred, our hearts remain strong and free and filled with gratitude.
Two prostitutes come to Solomon, the king to seek his wisdom. Both claim to be the true mother of a surviving infant and not the mother of a deceased infant. Both live in the same house; both give birth about the same time. One infant dies in the night; the other lives. Both mothers, of course, claim the living child.
“The first woman says, ‘ My son is the living one; your son is the dead one.’ So they argue before the king.”
Solomon listens to both women, then says, ‘Bring me a sword.’ (1 Kings 3:24) With the sword in hand, Solomon orders that the infant be brought to him so that he can “cut the living boy in two and give half to one and half to the other.” (1 Kings 3:25)
The true mother immediately “feels great compassion for her son” and decides she’d rather her son live with the other woman than be lost forever to both of them. She begs Solomon, “Please don’t have him killed.” (1 Kings 3:26) But the other woman, who is embittered by her own loss, says “He is not to be mine or yours. Cut him in two!” (1 Kings 3:26)
Solomon gives the infant to the true mother.
In the United States at present, we apparently have three competing ‘mothers’ who are trying to tear this country apart so that one of them can say, “This is my country; I love it. And you? You better just leave it. Cause if I can’t have it the way I want it, then no one is going to have this country. Let’s just kill it.” The three parties — that is, the Democrats, the Republicans and the Tea Party-goers — are continuing to argue with the President rather than recognize that no one wins if no one compromises. If no one cares about the country itself, then everyone loses.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” No person sets out to do what seems wrong; instead, a person performs those acts which seem right. [Before you argue that persons like Osama bin Ladin do only evil things which can not possibly “seem right,” remember that Osama truly believed that his actions against “infidels” were sanctioned by his god. The way in which bin Ladin worshiped his god seemed right to him.] Along this line, my actions seem right to me, though they are wrong “and in the end lead to death” according to the Lord. Why? Because my ways are not His ways; my thoughts are not His thoughts. In and of myself, I am incapable of pleasing the Lord God.
God “shows us what is good. And what does the Lord require of [us]? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [our] God.” (Micah 6:8) God says, “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” (Proverbs 29:23) Our pride — our trust in ourselves — can cause us to doubt that “every Word of God is flawless” and that “[God] is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Proverbs 30:5)
“[God] is a shield around [us]; He bestows glory on [us] and lifts up [our] heads. To the Lord [we] cry aloud, and He answers [us] from His holy hill.” (Psalm 3:3-4) “Because the Lord sustains [us], [we] will not fear.” (Psalm 3:5,6) “From the Lord comes deliverance. May [HIs] blessing be on [us.]” (Psalm 3:8)