10th Anniversary of September 11th Ezekiel 20.

44 : And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD. 1. SOMETHING ABOUT THE CITY Many iconic cities around the world: Particular places where we feel we belong, we connect, we are reinvigorated. City is a radical blending together of buildings, people, transport, retail, education, leisure and culture. Each city has it’s own rhythm, its own smell, its own soul. We each have our own favourite: Washington isn't a city, it's an abstraction. Dylan Thomas By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show. Samuel Johnson If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. Ernest Hemingway 2. JESUS HIMSELF CAME TO THE CITY OFTEN He zig zagged to and fro from Jerusalem His route was always the same – via the Mount of Olives and down to Gethsemane and to the Temple. He saw the view: that stupendous amazing view: his reaction was various: but the shortest verse in the Bible is also perhaps the most revealing: when Jesus comes to the Mount in John 11.35 we are told – JESUS WEPT over the City And on the altar, marking this exact spot, shaped like a tear drop, there is a large hen and 12 chickens reminding us of that other historic and prophetic verse:

Matthew 23.37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! What Jesus is a flashback to the prophecy of Ezekiel – our first reading today: The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, following the books of Isaiah and It derives its name from, and records the visions of, the 6th century BC priest and prophet Ezekiel. According to the book, the prophet, exiled in Babylon, experienced a series of seven visions during the 22 years from 593 to 571 BC, a period which spans the final destruction of Jerusalem in 586. And his teaching, which must have been in the mind of Jesus at this point is that:  Human nature is flawed. Whilst reflecting the glory of God we are susceptible to sin.  God’s dominion will rule over all. That will be the final outcome however we get to it.  God is loving and kind. He desires goodness. He urges us to turn away from sinfulness.  What is required is repentance. Today, on this the 10th anniversary of September 11th, despite the fact that many parts of the US were affected, it is the scene around the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre down at the southern tip of Manhattan which has become a modern icon of human sinfulness and folly. +Rowan Williams, our Archbishop, was not only in New York: he was in lower Manhatten: “I'm obviously very glad to be alive,” he wrote immediately afterwards, “but also feel deeply uncomfortable, and my mind shies away from the slaughter.” Also – in a book he wrote about it afterwards, he said:

"this isn't a theology or a programme for action, but one person's attempt to find words for the grief and shock and loss of one moment." Today’s anniversary of September 11th Begs us to look out over the state of humankind and to continue the work started by Jesus in bringing in the Kingdom of God He paused, looked, reflected and wept – but he never ceased in dealing with the never ending battle between good and evil Our task is to honest, realistic, prayerful and full of faith: To be true to our baptism – to turn to christ, to renounce evil, to repent of our sins. Can we pause for a few seconds now before our anthem – and look out over the world from the vantage point of Jesus our Lord – and the resume to pilgrimage of overcoming darkness with light? And then, as Ezekiel says, you will know that I am God?