Changing the World#11. “Fasten your seatbelt.”

Changing the World#11. “Fasten your seatbelt.”

Muhammad Ali was on an aeroplane. The hostess said, “Sir, please fasten your seatbelt.” Mohamed said, “Superman don’t need no seatbelt.” The hostess replied, “Superman don’t need no aeroplane.”

Whether true or apocryphal, it makes its point: Bravado doesn’t change reality. Ali against another man was indeed a formidable force, but Ali against gravity…?

There are forces at play in this world over which we have no control. Plague, famine, and pestilence are not confined to the Old Testament world; they are still with us.

Closer to home some might add: Taxes, terrible drivers, liars, and thieves. And who hasn’t been a victim to at least one of these?

Presently, we are blessed to be able to express our unhappiness with many things. We may not be taken as seriously as we would like to be, but we can at least offer our views without imprisonment.

The apostle Paul was not so blessed. At one point he had to make a choice between two evils. Either go to Jerusalem to stand trial before the Sanhedrin or put himself at the mercy of the Romans. He chose, as you know, to “appeal to Caesar.”

Paul was stuck between two forces. One already having shown itself murderous towards his Lord, and the other having shown itself capricious towards him. If Paul had not been a Roman citizen, Festus would have sold him to the Jewish Council for as much as they were willing to offer.

Christians speak much of justice these days. They pray that God and their fellow citizens deliver them from one set of leaders into the hands of another—preferably of their liking.

It is right that Christians push the best of leadership forward. But it is obvious in scripture that the place that it is to be done is in our congregations. Churches—Christians worshipping and working together—are transformative by nature.

Despite the forces that operate around us, we are the light, salt, and leaven of Christ, that can’t help but change the world.

So, fasten your seatbelts…!

John Staiger


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