Weeks ago, flight 1549 made a dangerous landing…perfectly executed in the Hudson River, saving the lives of 155 passengers aboard. The credit goes to the pilot who risked everything to attempt the impossible.
Sunday at church, our pastor–Mike Ernst–did a masterful job illustrating the fullness of God’s grace by using a clip from the 60 Minutes TV show that aired a week or so ago. This particular show, filmed a reunion of flight 1549 passengers with the pilot and crew who saved their lives. Here is a short video clip of this reunion:
Imagine any one of those passengers standing up and saying, “I just want you to know that I did MY part to be sure that the landing in the Hudson River was safe.” I mean the idea is preposterous. The passengers did nothing. The rescue was all about the pilot. The passengers were the beneficiaries of his wisdom, his gift, his potential sacrifice. There is NOTHING any of them did to be safe–to be alive to see the next day.
So, too, with us. There is nothing we can do to be acceptable to God. NOTHING. God has attributed Christ’s own righteousness to us. Christ became sin. We became His righteousness. Once we embrace Christ’s gift given for and to us, we are reconciled to God–completely, unconditionally, totally–all based on what HE has done.
and were enemies in your minds
because of your evil behavior.
But now he has reconciled you
by Christ’s physical body through death
to present you holy in his sight,
without blemish and free from accusation—
– Colossians 1:21-22
If you have “blown it” right now, nothing…nothing can keep you from the love of God found in Christ Jesus our Lord. He has “piloted” you to safety…out of the danger and potential of ever having to face God’s wrath. In fact, you never can do anything to make him turn his face away from you. You are totally acceptable to Him due to nothing you have done and nothing you do can change that.
You can’t do anything to make your “rescue” complete. To imagine that you could would be every bit as outlandish as if any of those passengers on Flight 1549 claimed any of the credit for saving his/her own life.
–> Do you believe that there is nothing you can do to win God’s acceptance?
How might this belief, embraced fully, affect how you view your struggle with food, eating and your body?
Lord, thank you that you have accepted us through Christ…100%…completely. There is nothing we can do to lose this standing with you and there is nothing we can do to gain it. Thank you for the complete reconciliation you have offered, you have provided for through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Lord, please help me to embrace this TRUTH completely and may it affect my choices day to day, moment by moment. When I find myself struggling with feelings of failure, or pain at my own hand or at the hand of others, I pray that I would be mindful of just how astonishing it is…”The God of the Universe accepts me completely…as I am…” May this truth transform us from the inside out. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
I disagree that the passengers did nothing to save their own lives. They followed the instructions of the flight crew. Rather than panic, jump into the water to swim to shore, or try to take control of the situation, they obeyed the evacuation and rescue guidelines given by the flight crew. Likewise, we need to follow God’s instructions, especially to maintain a healthy body. With all the human instructions out there (in the form of diet product ads, diet books and diet programs), hearing God’s instructions can be difficult. There are a few scriptures which speak specificially about eating, food and gluttony. However, God mostly speaks to us through our bodies, which He designed as well as that quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. So rather than panicking or jumping into the murky waters of dieting or other weight loss programs, we need to listen to guidance from our hunger/fullness cues and that quiet voice which gently guides us back when we veer off track from obeying our body sensations.
My comments, Sue, were about something much deeper than our physical condition. It was about understanding that shame is something we can justifiably be rid of. God has reconciled us to himself in Christ. Whether it is a moment of indiscretion or a month or a year of “blowing it,” in Christ, we stand forgiven, justified (righteous) and reconciled. We don’t need to fear failure or insist that we do this perfectly. In Christ, that just isn’t the point. Maybe I wasn’t very clear. I apologize about that. My heart right now is on the “Within” part of “Thin Within.” I really believe that understanding these deep truths will make this a permanent change in the lives of those of us who struggle with disordered eating. My post yesterday is probably written better to expound on what I meant. Today was meant as an addendum.
Oops! I meant to respond to this… Sue, you said, I disagree that the passengers did nothing to save their own lives. They followed the instructions of the flight crew. Rather than panic, jump into the water to swim to shore, or try to take control of the situation, they obeyed the evacuation and rescue guidelines given by the flight crew. They could have done all of these things, but if the pilot hadn’t landed right, it would have been in vain. Technically, it didn’t matter how brave, how perfect all of them were, if the pilot blew it, they would be history. As with all analogies, there may certainly be holes blown in this one as well. It was shared as an analogy. None of those passengers did anything to “earn” what the pilot did. He just did it.
I see your pastor’s perspective about grace, that we don’t earn grace, and the analogy to the flight 1549 pilot’s actions. However, I just want to respond to God’s grace, not earn it or win it, but respond somehow. Honoring the body that God created for my soul, by obeying those hunger/fullness signals and keeping it as healthy as possible, despite several chronic conditions, is one way I choose to respond to God’s grace. I realize that may seem superficial and I also respond to God’s grace in other ways. However you happen to be reviewing a book entitled ‘Thin Again’ or originally ‘Silent Hunger’. So I keep remembering that I honor God and respond to His grace with how I nurture or abuse my own body.
Absolutely. The scriptures say as much:For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14