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The Word on the Week

Flight 804

Egypt Air Flight 804 disappeared this week over the Mediterranean Sea whilst on a routine domestic flight from Paris to Cairo. The plane had touched down in a number of North African countries before its 50 minute stopover in Paris. The question on everyone’s minds was, “Is it sabotage”?

All the 59 passengers and crew of the Air Bus 320 are missing presumed dead. Some wreckage has been spotted near the place where radio contact was lost. Radar tracking of the flight showed a 90 degree turn to the right then a 90 degree turn to the left and finally a 360 degree turn as it lost height before it disappeared off the screen. Monitoring devices recorded smoke alarms going off immediately before contact was lost.

First reaction has been to call the disaster a terrorist attack. A bomb could have been placed on board at any of the airports where the plane touched down prior to arriving at Paris. Because of the brief 50 minute stopover in Paris the plane’s crew were responsible for checking security there.

The passenger list showed 15 French and 30 Egyptians were on board. These represent two countries which ISIS has shown particular hostility. Recently there has been a shift in the preferred method of violence from gun attacks to placing bombs in heavily populated places. The resultant fear has a destabilising effect on the population and with major tournaments scheduled for this summer there will be plenty of opportunities for disruption.

Whether or not any terrorist organisation is involved the crash will make people think twice before flying. The empty beaches in Tunisia and the Red Sea testify to the fear factor bringing about the outcome the terrorist desires.

Jesus was aware of the fear factor. The land was occupied by Roman armies. Their brutal law was added to the largely man-made religious laws so there were plenty of things to worry about.
It was against this background that Jesus revealed a God who cared.
“Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (St Matthew Chapter 6 verses 31-33).

In other words if we put first what God sees as important – God’s rule and righteousness in our lives – then we can confidently leave the rest of our needs to him.

For those apprehensive about boarding that plane or attending that football match and are not sure how much God cares listen to St John “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (Chapter 3 verse 16-17).

Let faith in Jesus drive out fear.