NEW YORK (BP)–Christian music leaders such as Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day joined New York Knicks Allan Houston and Charlie Ward and others at Madison Square Garden to mark the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a celebration of God’s grace and hope for the future.
Before singing a song he wrote the very day of the anniversary in remembrance of the attacks, Chapman recounted how he found himself wrestling with fear and doubt last Sept. 11.
“Then God reminded me that in his Word he says, ‘Don’t throw away all of your confidence,'” Chapman said, referring to Hebrews 10:35. “I say with all confidence tonight that God is God, and God is in control.”
Focus on the Family and the American Bible Society were among the groups sponsoring the event.
Nilsa Rivera, widow of a World Trade Center victim, spoke of how God’s provision has helped her realize that her husband’s death was not all tragic.
“My husband was part of the elite group that God called home on Sept. 11,” she said. “My husband has crossed the finish line!”
Steve Jamison, founder of Jammin’ Against the Darkness, delivered a keynote address and began by saying, “Tonight the Lord is purposing to change your perspective on the numbers 9-1-1.”
He continued by saying that people are dealing with many unresolved issues after Sept. 11, including the hurt, questions and anger. But he said the greatest unresolved issue is what Americans will do with the grace God has lavished upon them in the days following the attacks. Jamison told of how the rescue and recovery crews in the days immediately after the World Trade Center collapsed found a huge steel cross still intact in the rubble.
“God’s message to us was that when there is shaky ground all around, there is still the power of an old rugged cross to get us through,” he said. “The cross reminds us of Jesus, and the significance of Jesus is that the Bible says by no other name will man be saved.”
Jamison said Americans rose up with patriotism and with prayer after the attacks and found that the nation is still united and there is still a God who answers prayer.
Several political leaders participated in the event, including Govs. George Pataki of New York and James McGreevy of New Jersey and Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Jon Corizine of New Jersey.
Pataki looked to the future in saying, “It is faith that will get us through. This is a time of sorrow but also a time of pride when we see how we’ve gotten through this year. Strength comes from the people of New York and from our faith, from God.”