Remembrance and Hope in Ardsley
On Saturday, September 11 of 2021, in prayerful observance and memorial of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we held a candlelight service at St. Barnabas Church, Ardsley. The service began with the hymn “Amazing Grace” and concluded with the lighting of candles followed by the song, “We shall Overcome,” sung in both Malayalam and Hindi in addition to English. (I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to parishioners Sharon DeVivo, Anu Koshy-Mathew, Sadhaka Alexander, and Bethsaida Mathew for leading the songs.) A pure sense of peace and serenity surrounded each one of us during that special service of remembrance and hope, and we felt the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit, the great comforter.
Each person carries their own recollections of that tragic day in 2001. As we journey back in time through the valley of sorrow and vulnerability, let us thankfully honor the lives of all those that the tragedy of hate took away from us. Let us remember the sacrifices and dedication of all first responders and rescue workers. Let us appreciate New York’s bravest, finest, and strongest. By God’s grace, we proved to the world that we shall rise above the flames and ashes of hatred. Just as the prophet Isaiah stated (Isaiah 40:31), we proclaimed with courage that we shall renew strength, and we shall fly above the flames of hatred and destruction with wings of eagles.
The good news of God’s message consoles us who are brokenhearted and comforts us who mourn so that we shall repair, restore, and build (Isaiah 61:1-4). The good news of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ powerfully proclaims, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4, NRSV).” Let us seek God’s comforting presence and find hope with each year that passes by. Let us remind ourselves that good ultimately triumphs over all evil. Let us shine our light whenever and wherever darkness is present.