The Power of the Cross
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Almighty God, You have given us this good land as our heritage. Grant that we remember Your generosity and constantly do Your will. Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education, and an honorable way of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil course of action. Grant that we, who came from many nations with many different languages, may become a united people. Support us in defending our liberties, and give those to whom we have entrusted the authority of government the spirit of wisdom, that there may be justice and peace in our land. When times are prosperous, may our hearts be thankful, and in troubled times do not let our trust in You fail; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
Who in America can forget the traumatic events of September 11, 2001 when four planes were hijacked by Al Qaeda and were intentionally flown into both of the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon, and a 4th unknown destination in Washington DC, all of which caused significant devastation? There are some who say we should never forget what happened on that day. Others wish they could forget the horrors of that moment and the aftermath that followed.
Remembering that event, and many other events since then, brings up all kinds of anger and other conflicting emotions that rise to the surface of our lives. We are angry, hurt, and enraged that evil can manifest in such ways. Our hearts are broken, and grieve over those who lost their lives and were significantly affected by those moments. We are filled with appreciation, admiration, and pride for the first responders who courageously risked their lives in the call of duty. All of that swirls around in our minds and in our hearts. For those affected, our bodies remember things that our minds try to forget.
Where do we turn when such events happen? As we look around our world today, we are going through a pandemic. Everyone in the whole world is affected. Racial tensions are at an all time high. Fires are raging across Washington, Oregon, and California, and many are without shelter. One statistic I read said that 10% of Oregon’s population was under orders of evacuation, 500,000 people in just that state alone. In our own backyard, the town of Malden, a mere 30 minute drive away, has been virtually wiped off the map.
It is in times like these that we need to look to the cross. As you may remember, even in the midst of 9/11, a cross was found in the rubble, and later set up as a symbol of hope in the midst of a tragedy. Why? Because the cross of Jesus Christ is where our victory over evil remains. The reason Jesus came was to overcome the power of the devil and all evil, to overcome the sin of humanity, and to overcome death itself and the fear that comes with it. Only in Christ Jesus and in his cross do we find that God himself has come to our rescue. The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.”
On this day of remembrance, let us remember where our hope comes from. Life high the cross of Jesus, and look up!
In the service of Jesus,
Pastor Langdon Reinke