This past Thursday, we saw a miracle unfold on the Hudson River in New York, USA. A US Airways flight heading to Charlotte, North Carolina, lost both its engines as it was taking off, and the veteran pilot had to glide the plane into the water. His remarkable handling skills enabled both him and his crew to ditch the jet into the river without causing an almighty explosion. Everyone on board was still alive, and they all realized that they were still endangered.
What happened next was equally amazing. The Hudson River ferries started to cruise towards the floating plane. Within mere minutes, passengers were being rescued and taken on board the ferries. The US Coast Guard arrived very quickly, and the whole rescue operation was a complete success. It was a miracle. It was also a tremendous act of courageous humanity.
Job 38:29b-30 – Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen? (NIV)
If the waters had been frozen over, then it probably would have been disastrous. If another pilot had been at the controls, he might never have been able to land the plane successfully. If the crew hadn't been so highly trained and prepared, people might have panicked and drowned. If the ferry boat skippers had not changed their routes and put themselves in danger, lives may have perished.
Today, there will be a lot of families who will be thanking the captain and crew for their courage, their tenacity in the face of danger, and their leadership in the midst of potential disaster. It was a magnificent moment in the annals of human nobility. Everyone did their part, including the passengers, to rescue them from a dangerous situation.
When the Church works properly, we play the role of rescuing people, on behalf of Christ, from death and destruction. The world needs a strong, united, and fully focused Church to tend to the world's wounds and broken ways. As we enter this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, it is sad that we are so splintered and divided that our witness and work in the world is not fully functional or effective. If only we could learn from this incident. If only we would set aside our differences and dedicate our lives to the rescue mission of the whole world.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for the miracle on the Hudson River. Thank You for all of the courage, talents, and bravery of the crews of the plane, the ferry boats, helicopters, and rescue services who all saved the lives of everyone aboard the doomed flight. Help us to learn from this miraculous incident and apply it to our faith, our churches, and our kingdom service in the world. In Christ's holy name, we pray. Amen.