Monday, September 6, 2010

Peril to Passion

We watched a 2007 documentary this morning on the Learning Channel about the 1982 British Airways Flight 9 - which flew through a volcanic ash cloud and eventually lost all engines. It was the first time anything like this had ever happened. Nobody knew what was the matter as the cabin slowly filled with smoke, and the engines glowed with what appeared to be a blue flame - and eventually cut out.

Every person on board KNEW he or she was going to die. People were writing notes to their loved ones in case the salvage crews would find them. When the pilot and crew descended under 6,000 feet and were able to restart the engines, the sense of relief on board was obvious. And when they landed the plane in Jakarta in spite of not being able to see through the wind screen (the ash had sand-blasted the glass), and everyone realized they were all going to be okay, there was cheering, clapping, and more. Much more.

Perfect strangers were brought together through a shared peril and knowledge that they were saved from certain death. They hugged, laughed and cried together. And twenty-five years later, they were still meeting once a year to maintain contact. People from different walks of life, with varying abilities, beliefs, and plans, in those few hours, became - a family.

It was beautiful.

It got me to thinking. (I guess I think - a lot.) Perhaps the reason why so many Western churches are powerless, floundering in backbiting, gossip, power struggles and lovelessness, is because we've lost our first love : Him. We've forgotten the very basic reason we're all together in the first place.

We were all facing certain death. There was no escape. But He brought us to safety - to a place of hope, peace, and love where before, there was none of these things. That place is called Golgotha!!

We all share this marvelous deliverance, in spite of our own powerlessness to save ourselves. BECAUSE of our own powerlessness to save ourselves. Our Deliverer loved us so much that He brought us out of the place of despair and hopelessness into His Father's presence. Have we lost sight of that? where is our gratitude? has it all become about our comfort, our agendas?

Perhaps it's time to go back to the place of the Skull. To take a good, honest look at the One willingly dying there... for us : to rescue us from a fiery eternal death, just to open up a way for us to have intimacy, relationship with Him. Being able to commune with us was that important to Him! It's time to remember our utter hopelessness. To revisit our amazing deliverance. To refocus our faltering attention. To recapture our First Love. To overflow with gratitude, with joy!

Appearances, agendas, and position mean nothing. He means everything.
Gaze with me upon the Lamb. (click the link to read the story...)


  1. What a beautiful, thoughtful post Judy!

  2. The documentary affected me more than I thought it would. When I took note of my feelings - they were of wistfulness and ... almost envy. For these folks all had been stripped away except the knowledge they all shared. None of them was going to get out of this alive. When they were delivered, they all shared in the joy. That was a powerful moment! One that made family of strangers for years to come.

    Why can't we Christians have that? I thought. So that's what got me to thinking.