(Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 6:20-26)
“Nine-eleven” – there is no greater date of infamy in the minds of most Americans than today. Twelve years ago their nation was traumatized by viewing a jet passenger plane ram into a New York skyscraper and later seeing that building crumble like an avalanche. The experience invited rage and begged revenge – what the reading from Colossians today tells Christians to avoid.
Colossians describes the Christian mystery of being a new creation amid a passing world. It urges the faithful to leave behind inordinate passions and to live in Christ’s peace. It reminds them that in him no one or no group has higher status, but all share equal dignity as brothers and sisters of the same family.
Most Americans have lost the sense of outrage over the attacks twelve years ago although some whose husbands or children died in the attacks may still feel enraged. Neither sentiment is adequate. We should not be forgetful or seething. Rather as Christ would have it, let us pray for the dead, those they have left behind, and indeed the perpetrators of the crime. Let us live the reality that we are in Christ so that the whole world may find peace in him.