Friday, May 29, 2009

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

This last weekend, you likely heard the roar of the Blue Angels overhead, as the jets performed their aerobatic maneuvers celebrating Memorial Day Weekend. Since then, many of you shared with me your stories about where you had the thrill (or sometimes surprise!) of seeing them. First, I got a sense of the speed while driving back from Lexington Park, crossing the bridge and they flew above our car! Several of you told me how you planned to watch them from your boat, which sounded spectacular because they soar directly above all the boats in the river. Others didn’t have to leave land at all - you simply walked outside and watched from the comfort of your home. Interestingly, the funniest stories I heard both involved haircuts. One lady caught the performance from the chair of the beauty parlor while getting her hair cut on Solomons! Another lady told me that she was standing on her back deck, cutting her husbands hair, when the Blue Angels surprised them both, zooming above their house. (Don’t worry, she had a steady hand on the razor.)

Seeing the Blue Angels caused me to wonder about the skill and focus of the pilots. They must have such precision to do such complicated formations at such high speeds. I learned recently that for some of the maneuvers, the lead pilot in the formation has the primary responsibility of direction. The lead pilot charts the course for the whole group. All the other pilots look to his wing, or the wing or tail of the neighboring jet rather than looking straight ahead at where they are heading. Can you imagine driving your car at full speed – and rather than looking at the road ahead, you have to look out your side window at the car traveling beside you? I certainly can’t. It would take an incredible amount of trust the lead pilot. I would certainly want him to have excellent skills and ability!

For us who follow Jesus, Jesus Christ is our “lead pilot” as we perform the acrobatic maneuvers required to take the formation of “church”. Church, after all, is people working together with Christ as their Head to accomplish great things that could never be done by any one person “flying solo”. Being “church” means at times we take our eyes off of the road ahead – and instead trust the leadership of Christ our pilot, and rely on one another to stay on course.

This Spring, I have seen Olivet “soar in formation” through our collaboration on the Rummage Sale, the Pentecost Picnic, our Music Ministries, and the UM Men and UM women. Whenever you work together in Jesus name and lay aside your personal interests for the mission of serving others, you “fly in formation” for Christ’s glory!

I give thanks for the way that Olivet has collaborated with area churches for events like The Passion of the Christ Outdoor Theatre and the Evening Worship Services for Teens, which will continue this summer. None of us can do it alone. The greatest achievements occur when we care less about getting personal credit – and simply bond together for the glory of God.

This month, four young people will be added to the Church through the waters of Baptism. These four girls – Molly, Natalie, Emilee and Jess, have accepted Christ as their Pilot, so to speak, and will be baptized on Father’s Day June 21. I invite you to begin praying for each of them as they prepare for baptism. All of them chose to be baptized by immersion in the river, so following the 11am worship service, everyone will walk down the road to the creek, where they will receive the sacrament of baptism.
Praise the one who we follow, Jesus Christ our Savior, our redeemer and our Pilot!


Anonymous said...

I love your examples!
They make it easy to understand.
I wonder if the Methodist church
will change the way we are baptisied? I know I would love to
be baptised by my own choice and
have it done in a river. I know
another person who would love it

Rev Faith Lewis said...

I know what you mean about being interested in being baptised by immersion in the river. I too would love to have that experience! Although, we can't be re-baptised, there are some wonderful rituals that invite us to deepen in our understanding of God's grace. Perhaps this would be something we could do.

Anonymous said...

I too believe that the best example we can give to others is to be totally immersed under the water. This truly shows that we have been buried to our sins and have risen to a new life. After wards we must follow Jesus' example - go about doing good and witnessing to our salvation.