I’m not a nervous flier. In fact, I plan my trips with projects to finish, books to read, and work to complete. I get a ton of stuff done on trips. But as my buddy Cary was driving me to the airport for my trip to Prague, we got to joking about the two key signs we saw coming into the airport: TERMINAL and DEPARTURES.

 No wonder some folks get all jittery when they think about flying! Think of the imagery — we’re all destined to die (TERMINAL) and we’re leaving to go away (DEPARTURES). In fact, it sounds downright biblical! Remember what the Spirit says in Hebrews 9:27? “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment...” Sounds very sobering, doesn’t it!

 We don’t think much about being TERMINAL or about the reality of our sure DEPARTURES from this earth. It’s not in vogue. It conjures up terms like morbid, fatalistic, negative, and gruesome. We want the finality of our physical lives antisepticised and kept separate from the everyday world where we live, work, and play. But as distant as we like to keep it, reality breaks in as surely as it breaks our hearts.

Thankfully, TERMINAL and DEPARTURES are not the final words! Jesus answered every one of our enemy’s attacks with victory, so he also answers our TERMINAL condition and our certain DEPARTURE with his triumph. The Spirit didn’t end his reminder of our mortality in Hebrews 9:27. He let’s Jesus recast our most certain journey as a journey to the great house of joy, when he says: “So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

    You see, there is also one other prevalent sign at the airport I didn’t mention: ARRIVALS. While on our side of the great journey the TERMINAL and DEPARTURES signs loom large, on God’s side of the journey, there is only one that matters to him: ARRIVAL! He is waiting for us to come home with his Son who brings with him all those who stand in eager expectation of his return to take them on the return flight home.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-16)

Used With Permision by Phil Ware 


Psalm 10:17-18 - NRSVACE

O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
    you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
18 to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
    so that those from earth may strike terror no more.


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Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager

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