With many likening the current events happening in the Middle East to 9/11, let us think about Unity in the Wake of 9/11 - Pleasing to God.

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, remain etched in our collective memory as a day of unprecedented sorrow and loss. Those of us old enough to remember know exactly where we were on that crisp September morning. We joined with the world, watching in horror as the twin towers of the World Trade Center crumbled. As the news unfolded, we also learned that the Pentagon was attacked and that Flight 93 was crashed in a Pennsylvania field, as brave souls kept the terrorists from hitting their intended target, which was believed to be the White House or the Capitol Building. Yet, during this darkness, a glimmer of light emerged: unity. People from all walks of life, regardless of their differences, came together to support one another in a time of great need.

In the wake of 9/11, this unity was not just a testament to the human spirit. It revealed the unity that exists in the heart of God. Unity is a divine ideal woven throughout the Bible. From the very beginning, in Genesis, we read that God created humanity in His own image (Genesis 1:27).

Being made in His divine image implies that we are meant to reflect God's character, which includes unity. God, as a Triune Being—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—exists in perfect unity. This unity among the persons of the Godhead is a model for us to follow. In John 17:20-21, Jesus prayed for unity among His followers, saying, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Jesus' prayer reflects the importance of unity among His followers, not only for our benefit but also as a testimony to the world of God's love and truth.

When tragedy strikes, as it did on 9/11, unity becomes a source of strength and hope. In the days and weeks following the attacks, people of different races, religions, and backgrounds came together to help one another. Firefighters, police officers, and first responders risked their lives to save others, regardless of their differences. Ordinary citizens opened their homes and hearts to provide shelter and support to those affected. This unity in the face of adversity reflected the love and compassion that God calls us to show to one another.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, encourages believers to "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." (Philippians 2:2). In times of crisis, unity in purpose and love for one another bring joy and comfort to those who are suffering. Unity in the wake of 9/11, and in any difficult circumstance, is pleasing to God because it aligns with His heart for humanity. Here are some reasons that summarize why unity is pleasing to God:

Unity reflects God's image: we are created in the image of God, and unity is an essential aspect of His character. When we unite with others, we reflect the divine image more accurately.· Unity is what Jesus prayed for: Jesus prayed for the unity of His followers so that the world might believe in Him. Our unity testifies to the truth of the Gospel and the love of Christ.· Unity demonstrates love for our neighbor: Unity is a manifestation of love for one another.

In 1 Corinthians 13, often called the "love chapter," Paul emphasizes the importance of love in all our actions.· Unity expresses itself in service to others: Unity often involves putting aside personal interests for the greater good. This selflessness and willingness to serve others is pleasing to God, as we mirror the servant heart and sacrificial love of Jesus.In the aftermath of 9/11, we witnessed unity rising from the ashes of tragedy. People set aside their differences, united in a common purpose, and demonstrated love and compassion.

This unity, inspired by the divine ideal of reflecting God's image, is pleasing to God.Our world today is divided over so many issues. We need to remember the events of 9/11, not forgetting the lessons that emerged from the darkness. Remembering that God desires His people to be peacemakers and agents of reconciliation, not just in times of crisis, but every day.

Let's challenge one another to pray for and live in unity with one another, demonstrating God's love and character to our neighbors. “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)

Credit: Ron Kelley

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