"Supporting Those Who Are Innocent"
December 2, 2013
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. 1 Peter 3:18
Albert Rizzi is a blind man who is able to travel because he is assisted by a service dog, a dog named "Doxology" or "Doxy."
Recently, Rizzi was on a U.S. Airways Express flight from Philadelphia to Ronkondoma, N.Y. Unfortunately, the plane was delayed on the tarmac for 45 minutes, and Doxy became restless. She crawled out from under her master's airplane seat and took up a position behind Rizzi's legs.
Seeing the dog had moved, a crew member told Rizzi to order Doxy back under the seat.
A little later the flight attendant gave a second warning, but this time with the promise, "We're not going to take off until the dog is back under the seat." Rizzi responded negatively to the command. He explained: "My comfort level with my blindness was totally rocked. I felt like a useless, unappreciated loser."
That was when the crew decided to remove the man and his dog.
That's also when the other passengers became supportive. Describing the situation, one of the passengers said, "We were like, 'Why is this happening? He's not a problem. What is going on?'"
Rizzi eventually was taken off the plane, and this is where it gets interesting: when Rizzi was escorted off the plane, the other passengers joined him. Their attitude was, "If Albert ain't goin', then I ain't goin'."Eventually, the flight was cancelled; the airline put the passengers on a bus and had them driven to their destination.
Amazing! Those other passengers were actually willing to be inconvenienced because they felt an obligation to support a mistreated stranger. It was a pretty bold thing to do.
Rizzi was impressed. I was too.
Now, if we are impressed when people rise up in support of an innocent blind man, how should we feel about our Savior ...
1. who came to earth to seek and save those who were rebellious, disobedient sinners?
2. who came for those who didn't want Him, those who felt they didn't need Him?
3. who ended up being beaten, whipped, crowned with thorns, and crucified by and for those He had come to save, and ...
4. who died alone and unsupported?
Impressed by what the risen Redeemer has done? I should think!
But we need to be more than impressed, we need to believe in the Savior who has done all that was necessary to forgive our sins and restore the broken relationship between transgressors and their Creator.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, occasionally we see people being kind and supportive of those whom they feel are innocent. May we be supportive of and thankful for our innocent Savior who gave Himself for our salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries