As I write this Messenger article, it’s another anniversary of 9/11, a horrific day in our nation’s history. Many of us remember where we were and what we were doing. I had just started my first Call as the new Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church. I woke up to a day of joy, that quickly turned to sadness. Many today were not even born, or were very young when the towers fell and countless lives were lost; but for those of us who remember, we remember the dust and the smoke, the despair, and the grief. We remember that sense of vulnerability and shock. We remember the numbness that overwhelmed us as we watched our screens for hours and hours, waiting for an explanation and understanding that never came. We remember the heroes, those who rushed to help, who guided the wounded down innumerable flights of stairs, who rose to overwhelm those who held death in their hands. We remember the hours and the days of binding wounds and healing hurts, giving comfort, drying tears. We remember words of support and compassion from nations far and wide.
We remember in part because we see the ripples of that tragic day continue to impact our world twenty-two years later. We still see violence, war, hatred, and death all around us. 9/11 is a reminder mankind’s propensity to evil, but none of this should frighten us. In Matthew 24:6-14, Jesus says, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Between the cross and glory, lots of bad stuff will happen, but our Lord Jesus will have the final victory, so fear not.
Blessings, Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine