of Significance

Early on Tuesday morning, I was on my home computer, looking up various interests on the Internet. I landed on a website with information about an upcoming solo bagpiper competition that happens in October in Albany. It is a prominent competition in the Scottish Solo Bagpiping World. The site had a banner at the bottom of the page with various practicing tips, informal polls about habits of bagpipers, and a section for "This Day in History." Imagine my surprise when I saw under that heading, "nothing of significance happened on this day, September 11. If you know of an important historical event to share, please email {the webmaster}."

I nearly fell off my chair in surprise. I reloaded the web-page a few times to see if my eyes might be playing tricks on me, took a screen-shot so I would have proof to myself that I really had seen it. Sure enough, it kept coming back - nothing of significance happened on September 11. I was utterly flabbergasted. 
A few hours later, I checked the website again and it read something different: "Terrorists attack New York City. Fire Department of New York Emerald Society Pipes & Drums perform at 343 funerals for firefighters following the event, 2001." Then it dawned on me - the historical events the site highlighted were events of significance in the world of professional and amateur bagpiping. 

The shock and surprise of the first viewing of the page stayed with me throughout my morning routine, drive to work, even changing the sign on the front of the church. "Nothing of significance." Wow. Reflecting back, I was lucky, my family and I. We did not have anyone we lost as a result of the attacks, although little did I know at the time, we came close. But for so many families, families of victims of that day, families of the emergency workers who suffered long-term affects from their service, people caught in the crosshairs of intolerance and ramifications of the tragedy, military families and service members, the loss, the significance of that day, will live forever. 

In church, we light the Christ candle to call our awareness to Christ in our midst, in our lives. We will sometimes light candles of remembrance for loved ones. On a day when it is a shock to hear the words "nothing of significance happened on this day," we need the strength of prayer more than ever. 

Starting today at noon for the rest of this week, the sanctuary will be open from 12-1pm. If you have a moment, someone you want to remember in prayer, related to the September 11 event or not, come in. Have a prayer, light a candle if you would like. On NPR radio, one of the commentators called September 11 the "annual day of sorrow." They were right, but it can also be a day of remembrance, of hope, of prayer, of service and resolution. 

SUPC Pastor