The attacks on September 11, 2001 are burned into the minds of many younger and older adults but may be a bit fuzzy in the minds of many of today’s teens. Consider that an 18 year old in 2014 would have been 7 during the attacks on 9/11; a 13 year old today would have been a newborn in 2001. Among the many stories of that day is the story of Flight 93, a story that interested everyone at Wednesday night Bible study.
Flight 93 was destined to slam into the White House, the symbol of US military power and global protection of democratic freedom. When terrorist took over the flight, the passengers defied conventional wisdom. At the time, conventional wisdom said that passengers in these situations should avoid ‘being the hero’ and wait for the authorities to take control. Know that something terrible was occuring, more terrible than other airplane hijackings in the past, one man made a final call to his wife from the air. During the call, he said his final goodbyes and hung-up. Before hanging up, his wife could hear whispers as his husband said, “Are you ready? Let’s Roll.” What is known from that day is that the terrorist appeared to be overcome by the passengers which forced them to crash the plane into a Pennsylvania field rather than meeting their target in DC. The people of Flight 93 saved hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent lives by uniting together and overcoming their aggressors.
The people on Flight 93 probably didn’t all know each other before that day. You can imagine that some of them may not have had the same political or religious views and many probably weren’t even US citizens. Still, extreme circumstances united them behind a common goal and caused them to do great things. The emotion of 9/11 is still very alive in many of our hearts because… well… most of us lived through it. When we talk about the events of the Bible, we tend to think of it like a novel, movie, or even a history book. We are removed from the passion and emotion of the events that took place because we didn’t directly live through them.
What Christ did was truly extreme. For God to decide that His creation was so precious to send His blameless son to earth as a sacrifice is unimaginable. Paul writes what exactly this means to us…
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. (Ephesians 4:1-6 NLT, Source: Bible Gateway)
Being united through the extreme passion of Christ has some side-effects. The extreme nature of Christ drives us to look above petty disagreements. It drives us to look beyond our minor faults as individuals and instead look at each other as one body. We are reminded that though we all have different backgrounds and unique talents that we are all one body of believers dedicated towards growth and relationship building with each other and with those living in a lost world.
Being united is a big part of who we are as individuals and as an orgnized church. As individuals, we acknowledge that “it’s not all about us” and that our individual ministries are not a part of a vacuum. Instead, we are part of a family that must work with each other. When we lose sight of our relationships to each other within the body, it’s easy to let ideological differences and personalities get in the way of pure ministry. We are therefore challenged to act as Christians who are a part of a whole; who rely on and are relied on by others in the body and whose individual contributions are essential to supporting the larger mission of the church.