The Unthinkable

When I heard the news I was floored. How could a pilot intentionally fly a plane into the mountain in the French Alps? And the tormenting final minutes the passengers endured–the agonizing attempt by the main pilot to get into the cockpit. It’s unthinkable. The experts are hard at work trying to figure out what could have motivated copilot Andreas Lubitz to kill himself and 149 others. Thirteen of the passengers were exchange students returning home from a year-long stint away from their parents. It is gut-wrenching.

What was going through his mind? We will never know the details, but we do know his human condition. And though we don’t like to admit it, apart from Christ we share that same human condition:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8 ESV)

Notice the qualities of the mind set on the flesh. Death. Hostile to God. Unable to submit to God’s law. Unable to please God. Lubitz adds his name to a list of people who fit that description. Saddam Hussein. Adolf Hitler. Osama Bin Laden. Kim Il Sung. Joseph Stalin. And, believe it or not, you–before Christ.

I know…it takes my breath away too. Our capacity to sin is only limited by God’s grace to save. What Lubitz did pains me, breaks my heart, and makes me angry. And I’m saddened to say that things I have done have pained me, broken my heart and made me angry.

Today, pray for the families of those who died.

And thank God for his grace–grace that saves us from doing the unthinkable.

Self Examination

Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  (1 Corinthians 11:28 ESV)

Sunday we learned that the sin in question was most likely persistent prejudice.  The early church had become a group of wealthy and poor followers.  God has never condemned wealth, nor has he exalted poverty.  One’s possessions do not determine his or her standing with God.  The church was meeting and requiring that those who had less eat outside, while the wealthier and more influential Christians ate on the inside.

Here’s a simple assignment.  This week, find someone who doesn’t  fit into your circle of friends.  Maybe they have less (or more) than you.  Their skin color may be different or their education level below (or above) yours.  Befriend them.  Let God speak through you into their lives.  Maybe they’re polar opposites from you politically.

Look past the surface to the soul.  Reach out to them.  Really get to know them.

Who knows how God will use you to be salt and light.

Living out the Lord’s Supper requires eating dinner with sinners and saints, black and white, Hispanic and Asian, rich and poor.