Excerpts from a sermon by the Rev. Leigh Spruill on October 4, 2015.
Jean Mermoz was a renowned French aviator in the early 1900’s who flew in the French Air Force in WWI. By 1929, France wanted to establish a commercial air route to South America and Mermoz became the lead pilot for the project to fly from Senegal to Chile. However, the planes that Mermoz had were capable of flying to 16,000 feet and the Andes were over 20,000 feet.
Leigh continued that is similar to the dilemma we often face today where we have 20,000 feet spiritual desires but 16,000 feet human realities. We all want a vibrant Christian life, but it is hard for us to maintain our enthusiasm to our commitments and disciplines.
Dr. Larry Crabb is a psychologist, speaker, Bible teacher and leader of NewWay Ministries and was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2011. He has written on his experience of being changed with adversity, but to his disappointment, he wasn’t changed forever. He remembers the shame he felt that first time he snapped at his wife after his recovery and questioned, “What has to happen to you before you become like Jesus for the rest of your life?”
We studied Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12 yesterday and Leigh remarked that it is a letter written to a fatigued church. That author admits that we don’t see and know everything as Christians, “but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels.”
We all have a spiritual longing to know our Father. The good news is that we need look no farther. If we want to see God, we only need to look to Christ. Likewise, if we want to know who we are, we only need to look to Christ. Through whatever we face, “Jesus is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being.”
Even when we wrestle with our spiritual desires and do not go to God, God has sent Jesus down to us to cover the gap. It is for this reason that Jesus calls us brothers and sisters.
Jean Mermoz knew that his plane wouldn’t fly 20,000 feet above the Andes, but he still made a successful trip to Buenos Aires and then on to Santiago Chile. He did it by looking for the valleys on the journey, and staying below his 16,000 feet threshold.
Just as the 16,000 feet limits we have in our spiritual lives, we can rest assured that Jesus meets us in those difficult times. It is in the valleys of life that he reminds us that we bear the original image of who we are supposed to be, in spite of our human inadequacies.
Blessings, my friend,