I had the privilege and crazy responsibility of trying to navigate reflecting on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to our community of South Africans this past Sunday at 3rd place. In the wisdom of the liturgical year, whoever selects texts for Text Week made sure that an American was saddled with a really difficult parable of Jesus’ on forgiveness and extending mercy, in light of 9/11 and in our interpersonal relationships. Let’s just say that Matthew 18:21-35 (plus Matthew 6:14-15, James 2:12-13, and Romans 2:4) were TOUGH scriptures to internalize, let alone teach. God wrecked me all week long! I also found myself using the epic inciting incident from Jean Valjean’s life in Les Miserables as a visual of how mercy is the only thing powerful enough to triumph over judgment, breaking the cycle of escalating violence.
One thing I enjoy about teaching at 3rd Place is the instant feedback and commentary one gets via the live Twitter stream that evening. Here’s a sample of what our community was wrestling through this past Sunday:
Pierre Du Plessis, the lead pastor of 3rd Place and our good friend, even had his tweet picked up for New York Times feature on 9/11 feedback!