The most difficult type of airplane landing is
that which occurs on an aircraft carrier. It looks difficult because
it is. If the night is dark enough, and the storm is wild enough and
the deck is pitching enough then the pilots will tell you this is
the moment you find out whether or not you really know how to fly
The secret is in the approach. The glide path
must be very close to exactly right; the angle on the nose of the
aircraft must be right and you must touch down at exactly the right
spot. The approach is everything.
We see that same phenomenon — the approach is
everything — in one of Christ's parables.
Luke 18:9-14 NASB
And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in
themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with
"Two men went up into the temple to
pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
"The Pharisee stood and was praying
this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people:
swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of
all that I get.'
"But the tax collector, standing some
distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but
was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the
"I tell you, this man went to his
house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts
himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be
What is our approach to the altar of God? We
don't normally see this done publicly as the ancients did, but we
have our own ways, mentally, of approaching God.
Some of us approach with gratitude.
We should be thankful for what God has given us. The mistake comes
when we assume that God's generosity to us is a sign that he regards
us as somehow special. If God has blessed you, that doesn't make you
wonderful. It makes you blessed.
Others approach with penitence. We
come to claim the forgiveness of sin as our Lord instructed us. We
remember his sacrifice — and that perforce means that we remember
We must remember that the Lord's
Supper commemorates Christ's sacrifice for our sins. If we are to
take it in a worthy manner we should at least give thanks. Then we
may ask for forgiveness and the acceptance of our repentance. The
most important event in human history was our Lord sacrifice on the
Cross. Remember it with thanksgiving and penitence.