God of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob; God of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians; God of the Godless,Today's lectionary reading includes a parable from Matthew on forgiveness.
We call on you to shift us from the center of our being, toward forgiveness and release.
We confess that we have held grudges, planned revenge, worried the bones of our judgements till there was no life left on them. We have not received the gift to our own spirits of forgiving our enemies, nor have we accepted the fact that our enemies can change.
We confess that we sometimes live in nameless fear that others will attack us: for our possessions, for our beliefs, or simply for the fun of it. These fears keep us from living our lives fully and risking all, for You.
We confess that we have not learned all we can learn from the tragedies that touch our loves or the lives of those we love. We want things to be easy, even knowing that the things that have been hard have usually brought us the most faith, peace and gratitude.
Make us the kind of people who can forgiven 490 times. Make us people who are risk-takers and love-bringers, both wise and serpents and innocent as doves.
Last Sunday, Pr. Lisa said that in 2001 [the Sunday after 9/11], the assigned Sunday lectionary readings were so perfect.
I wasn't at a church that Sunday in 2001. Or any Sunday that academic year (save, I guess, Christmas at home). I grew up going to church, and that first year at college was the only year of my life thus far that I didn't regularly attend church (I also didn't attend the first couple months living in Somerville, but that's a significantly shorter period of time).
Sarcastic Lutheran asked the other day, "Why did SO MANY people go to church on or right after 9-11?" and, "why didn't people KEEP Going to churches after 9-11?"
People keep doing the, "Where were you when you got the news?" and this morning I felt like, "I am not interested in doing this."
I go back and forth as to how much I want to engage with this, how much I want to talk about it. I have lots of thoughts about forgiveness and trauma and etc. ... and lots of people better equipped than I have lots of thoughts about international and domestic politics and security and etc.
And we keep telling stories about That Day and the immediate aftermath, and there's something ritualistic about this anniversary every year, and I have mixed feelings about that.
I was going back through my 9/11 entries, and I'd forgotten that I first heard the news walking back from class with Becca -- and we thought it was a joke. (I didn't have an online journal on 9/11/01, and I didn't post about it on the one-year anniversary, but I have every year since.)
During Prayers of the People this morning, Kathy M. lifted up a thanksgiving for "this perfect September day." I had a shock flash of remembering the totality of mentions that it was such a perfect September day 10 years ago.
A blogger posted some Bruce Springsteen YouTubes and then I was grieving something else entirely. Oh, self.
Housemate: [stands outside my bedroom door] [makes approving comment re: Maureen Johnson's 9/11 piece]
me: "Yeah, I liked hers. It made me cry. But everything makes me cry."
Housemate: "I don't think I've ever seen you cry, and I've lived with you for 3 years."
me: "Well not everything everything makes me cry."
Housemate: "I think that's why this door is closed sometimes."