top3 for September 11, 2020

The week’s top3 is in honor of September 11 and the many who lost their lives and the many more who are struggling with life after the trauma caused by that day. This week is also about remembering those who missed their train or their plane and struggle with survivors guilt. This week the top3 is a call to action and a voice for comfort. It is also a reminder that the day is coming when there will be no more September 11’s. Until then we live in this uncomfortable place called the in-between. The victory is assured but not fully realized. And finally, today is also in honor of my friend Mike Gobb. I will be forever grateful for what he taught me about the difficult work of redemption.


America had, I believe, a divine founding. Call it American exceptionalism if you like. But that makes America all the more vulnerable to God’s judgment if we become accustomed to glamorizing war, excusing lies, and parading our might and dominance. Who is going to be the counter-voice? Who is going to remind the powerful and the great that God loves the poor and the small? Who will defend the homeless people and the veterans languishing in hospitals and the prisoners at Guantanamo?” Who is going to be the unpopular voice that says God loves justice for all people everywhere, not just America’s allies of the moment? Who is going to protest that God requires mercy? Who if not the church?

from And God Spoke to Abraham by Fleming Rutledge



Fear and trauma can prevent our growth in the Micah 6:8 themes of justice, mercy (forgiveness), and humility.

from Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott


Isaiah 11:5–9 (NRSV)

5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,

and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

6 The wolf shall live with the lamb,

the leopard shall lie down with the kid,

the calf and the lion and the fatling together,

and a little child shall lead them.

7 The cow and the bear shall graze,

their young shall lie down together;

and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,

and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.

9 They will not hurt or destroy

on all my holy mountain;

for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD

as the waters cover the sea.