On September 11, 2001, almost 3,000 people lost their lives. At 8:46am, American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north tower of the World Trade Center, and at 9:03am, United Airlines Flight 175 hit the south tower. At 9:37am, American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. And at 10:03am ET, United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville, PA. We pause to remember those who lost their lives on the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, vowing to “never forget.”
This morning we welcome Pastor Dianna Richardson, of the New Anointed Apostolic Church, which meets in our lower sanctuary. She was married thirty-three years to the late Bishop Timothy Ray Richardson Sr. and she assisted him in ministry for twenty years, and has now been pastoring for five years. She is a teacher by profession, as well as a mother of four and grandmother of seven. Her motto is: “If I can help somebody along the way, then my living won’t be in vain!”
First Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:43-48 (Amplified Bible)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? 48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Second Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:7-8 (Amplified Bible)—God Is Love
7 Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience]. 8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]