Touchdown Point

Sunday, November 29, 1998

Luke 1:68 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come and has redeemed his people.

Many people, when they hear an aircraft passing overhead, will idly glance up, wondering who is going where, and perhaps wishing they were up there, not down here. Fewer people are aware of the vast electronic radar blanket that covers North America. Much of its mission is to keep an eye on those planes, and help them get safely down. Kind of like God's ever-caring eyes.

Ever been out to an airport at night? There is a rainbow of coloured lights out on the field. I have a couple of friends who are pilots. They tell me that every light on that runway has meaning. Everything is working so that the aircraft will come to earth safely at the "touchdown point", about one third the way down the runway. Some lights make sure the aircraft is descending at the correct rate. There are bright white lights outlining the active runway, blue ones for taxiways, amber ones to say "caution", and red ones to say "stop". Sometimes there are even "racing" lights, like on a sign, to guide the plane down. There is also a bar of lights intersecting with the runway lights, marking the beginning of the runway. My pilot friend says it looks like a gigantic cross in lights that is helping to guide him home.

Advent is a time like that. We are heading for Christmas, but we're not there yet. We need some time and space to guide us in toward the Saviour's birth. It literally takes a month of Sundays for the Christian church to consider the depth of the wonder of God-come-to-Earth. Just as an aircraft uses the approach to the runway to get lined up correctly, we need the time of Advent to get our lives and our discipleship lined up and going toward Christmas. You and I both know the spirit of the Season is too easily lost in the maul in the mall.

Prayer: Lord, as we make our "final approach" to Christmas, help us stay on the right flight path. Guide us in to land this season, and bring us, discipleship intact, to a perfect touchdown at Christmas. Amen.

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Bruce M. Dinsmore <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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