Leave It and Live!
From the Pulpit – June 13, 2020
Omaha World Herald
Reverend Eric L. Jay
“Leave It and Live!”
On May 7, 2019, an Aeroflot plane, flight 1492, made a crash landing in Moscow that killed 41 of the passengers onboard. As more information about the crash came out over the next several days, some very disturbing news was brought to light.
According to the USA Today article, “Reports from people on the plane indicate the evacuation may have been slowed by passengers grabbing their bags.” Videos show passengers taking their carry-on bags with them as they exited the plane. The Association of Flight Attendants said during a tribute service they held mourning the loss of the flight attendant onboard who was also killed, “We will never know if more lives could have been saved if the bags were left behind.”
As I continued reading articles about the crash of flight 1492, I was surprised to learn that people risking not only their own lives but the lives of others in a desperate attempt to save their belongings after a plane crash, is not a new issue. We would all like to think we would leave any material possession behind to burn without a moment’s hesitation, especially if our life was at risk. But to deny that we share in the same temptation is to have already put ourselves at risk.
Watching video footage of those passengers making an emergency exit, fleeing for their lives with carry-ons in hand, is a graphic illustration of Jesus’ warning in Luke 12 when He says, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
As many of us have been reminded of in vivid ways over the past several months, as so much of what we take for granted has been so swiftly taken away, we would do well to let it stand as a reminder that there is nothing in this life that will endure forever and we can take nothing with us after we die. Everything expires, everything dies. There is only one thing that lasts forever. Only one thing worth dying for and leaving everything else behind for. That is our relationship with Jesus Christ who died and rose again so that the true longing of our hearts and desires would be satisfied. Only the love and forgiveness and provision of God found in His Son Jesus gives us all that we need, even when we have nothing in this life.
The Good News of the Gospel is that God has already given us the wealth of heaven and the promise of eternity with Him by grace through faith in Jesus. God, His love, and His Word is all that will endure to the end and into life after death.