Sunday, April 15, 2012

a rescue of Titanic proportions

All three of our kids are fascinated by the story of the Titanic.

Exactly 100 years ago today, in the wee hours of the morning, a few hundred people huddled together in a handful of lifeboats, shivering from the cold, lost at sea. The massive monument to human pride and modern progress sank fathoms beneath them and settled on the ocean floor, a giant tomb for those unable to escape. Hope of survival faded with each passing hour.

But rescue came. As dawn broke the Carpathia sliced through the icy waters toward the desperate travelers, and all at once hope was reborn. When the ship caught sight of the bobbing lifeboats there was no question that every single person in the lifeboats would be saved. But the process of lifting each one to safety took hours. One by one they were hoisted by ropes to the deck of the Carpathia where they could be fed and clothed and given a place to rest. When all were aboard, the ship turned back and brought the travelers to terra firma. I can only imagine the joy and relief and sorrow that ensued.

100 years later, we are in a similar predicament. Spiritually, the human race is lost at sea, unable to make it to safety on our own. Our lifeboats are ill-suited for ocean travel. Human pride has failed us, and we depend completely on a rescue from outside ourselves. But hope is not lost! A rescue has been sent. Jesus Christ was sent to lift each one of us to safety. To refuse that rescue is utter foolishness, but the choice is up to us. Will we climb aboard the good ship grace?

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8–9

Faith is admitting that we can never make it ashore on own own, grabbing hold of the ropes that are being lowered to us, and allowing Jesus to lift us to safety. I hope that you can say along with the author of Hebrews,

"We do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved." Hebrews 10:39

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