On September 11, 2001, the Chattanooga District Clergy had their monthly meeting at 10 AM. I was one of the clergy members there for the meeting. Most of us had our radios on in our cars, and shortly before most of us arrived for the meeting, we were hearing news bulletins that hijacked airplanes had just crashed into the World Trade Center, and also at the Pentagon. We would hear shortly after that of another hijacked plane crashed in Pennsylvania. It was a day that most of us will never forget.
We pastors gathered around a small screen at Brainerd United Methodist Church, trying to make sense out of what had happened. There was fear in the room, and there was anger in the room. Only later would we fully realize the devastation that had taken place in the attack. So many deaths, and so many injuries, and for a long time, so many questions with few answers.
Suddenly, whatever we had planned to discuss that day paled in comparison to our need to be amongst our people during such a pivotal moment. There would be no regular clergy meeting that day. However, before we left and headed back to our churches, we observed Holy Communion. It served to calm my nerves before I went back to my congregation, where people filed into the church to pray, to strengthen each other, and just to talk.
Today, we observe Holy Communion together. I certainly pray that no disaster comes our way. But if it should, we come to a table, to receive grace and help in time of need. Here, we are reminded that our Savior was a real flesh-and-blood human being. He saw humanity at its worst, and still, He overcame.
See you at the Table. What we do here matters.
Dale has been in ministry for over forty years. He's a teacher, singer, and story teller.