By Pastor Tom Davidson
There was an article in the September 19, 2001 edition of the Washington Times entitled Aboard Flight 564. It reads, “As it was at most US Airports, last Saturday was the first near normal day at Denver International since the terrorist attacks. On United Flight 564, the door had just been locked and the plane was about to pull out of the gate when the captain came on the public address system. I want to thank you brave folks for coming out today. We don’t have any new instructions from the federal government, so from now on we’re on our own. The passengers listened in total silence. He explained that airport measures had pretty much solved the problem of firearms being carried aboard, but not weapons of the type the terrorists apparently used, plastic knives or those fashioned from wood or ceramics. Sometimes a potential hijacker will announce that he has a bomb. There are no bombs on this aircraft and if someone were to get up make that claim, don’t believe him. If someone were to stand up, brandish something such as a plastic knife and say, this is a hijacking or words to that effect; here is what you should do: Every one of you should stand up and immediately throw things at that person, pillows, books, magazines, eyeglasses, shoes anything that will throw him off balance and distract his attention. If he has an accomplice or two, do the same with them. Most important: get a blanket over him, then wrestle him to the floor and keep him there. We’ll land the plane at the nearest airport and the authorities will take it from there. Remember, there will be one of him and maybe a few accomplices, but there are 200 of you. You can overwhelm them. The Declaration of Independence says; we the people and that’s just what it is when we’re up in the air: we, the people’ we, the people, vs. would-be terrorists. I don’t think we’re going to have any such problem today or tomorrow or for a while, but sometime down the road, it’s going to happen again and I want you to know what to do. Now, since we’re a family for the next few hours, I’ll ask you to turn to the person next to you, introduce yourself, tell them a little about yourself and ask them to do the same. The end of this remarkable speech brought sustained clapping from the passengers. He had put the matter in perspective. If only the passengers on those ill-fated flights on 911 had been given the same talk, I thought, they might be alive today.” After I read this, I began to think about the pilot’s last word about being a family and how a crisis seems to bring out the family in us and in the event of a disaster we would do whatever it takes to save people’s lives.
We too are aboard a flight we call life. It’s a journey that’s often sabotaged by hijackers and terrorists that attempt to take us off course towards a path of destruction and death. How do we live in a world where terror and evil exist? How can we bring out the family or the community in us so that we can survive the schemes and plots of the devil? Many folks live a life of loneliness and isolation never finding the support, or help or encouragement that they really need to make it. Somehow the events of 911 have put a whole new perspective on what’s really important. We’re living in a new age of uncertainty. When the people on the hijacked planes knew they had minutes to live, did you notice that nobody called their boss, or their stockbroker or their banker. They called their homes to say, ‘I love you and I love the kids.’ If they couldn’t control the length of their life, at least maybe they could control the breadth and depth of their life.
So what begins to come into focus when you think about living a life that matters are people – more specifically, family. I think the same thing is true about us that the pilot said about his passengers. We live here in Gilpin County and for this period in our life, we are family. When I look around this community, I see people that matter, people that God may be able to use in helping and encouraging us, or praying or ministering to a specific need. I see family and community. Because I know that although we can’t see it physically, there’re also people in this very community who are being terrorized by fear, depression, being overwhelmed with thoughts of suicide, belonging, or any number of things. One of the core values of CTK is that God’s dream is the home. He’s called our Heavenly Father not our heavenly CEO or president. Home, whether our church home or natural home should represent a place where you can be accepted, welcomed, and loved unconditionally.
Maybe you’re already a part of this family we call the church or the body of Christ and you’ve become disillusioned. You feel like giving up, you’re tired of stumbling and feeling like you’ve failed one too many times. Let his love draw you back in. When love takes you in, miracles happen, things change, but it can’t happen if you won’t open your heart towards him. Paul said, Listen, we have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters which cause us to cry out Abba, Father.” Meaning Daddy! When any of your children cry out your name, you come running. God will do the same for you.