Five years ago today I was at The Quinta, during our Forum conference. We'd been studying Leviticus with Justin Mote, a book that points us to Jesus: Hooray for Jesus was our cry, the sacrifice for our sin has been made. In the evenings Cassells Morrell reminded us that the more we discover of our sinfulness and God's holiness the more we find that God's grace is bigger than we imagined...
That afternoon I was sat under the tree between Quinta Hall and the Sports Hall when Trainspotter came over and told me what had happened. Watching the news for the first time in a week, on the big screens, and seeing what happened was rather surreal. That year we cancelled the afternoon's Open Forum Q&A session and simply prayed.
Many preached on Luke 13 after those events, remembering that Jesus lesson for us to learn from a fallen tower was that we ought to repent. We're to be those who interpret the times... not just terrorism, but all tragedy points us in the direction of final judgement before which we must turn to God and find mercy.
Events like these become defining moments in our lives - where were you when Diana died, on 9/11... and so on. Looking back is helpful, but we must also look ahead to the ultimate defining moment, when Jesus returns and holds each of us accountable.
At the end of that week John Piper helpfully pointed us to trust in Christ, not ourselves.