A post I wrote for American Public Media’s OnBeing blog:
September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday. Most of us remember that day and what we were doing around 9 am that morning. (I was at the veterinarian’s office; we had just gotten a puppy the Saturday before).
September 11, 2011 is a Sunday. For those of us who will be in church that morning — in the pulpit or the pew — there’s an expectation that something Important must be said; that appropriate ritual solemnity must be observed; that meaning, in some form or fashion, must be made.
It’s just bad calendrical luck that the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks falls on a Sunday. Tuesdays are made for the busyness of school and work, for picking up the dry cleaning and taking the dog to the vet. Sundays seem to call for ceremony and somber speechifying. Most pastors and preachers, I suspect, won’t be able to resist the urge.
But what is left to say? Haven’t we done too much talking and not enough listening these last ten years? And haven’t Christians — of all stripes — spoken too hastily about the events of September 11? Haven’t we summoned pious God-talk for our own well-intended purposes, sputtering and stuttering dubious theological explanations for an inexplicable tragedy?
To read the rest click here.