Last weekend, my speaking travels took me to Nashville, TN. If you follow me on Facebook, you know history repeated itself in an ugly way. Exactly a year to the day from my last travel to Nashville, when I was sent to Birmingham and left in Birmingham, I had troubles again making it to “Music City”. I was delayed on my first flight, arrived late on my last flight, and lost my bags in the process. American Airlines “lovingly” placed them on another plane. Luckily, I received my bags a few hours later.
As soon as I landed in Nashville, a strong storm closed the airport. No planes in. No planes out. This also meant no bags were unloaded from any aircraft, so hundreds of travelers who were lucky enough to deplane in the storm, impatiently waited for their bags at baggage claim. Some had been there for minutes. Others had been there for hours (I would become one of those before the night was over). Since I had nothing to do but sit and wait for my belongings, it dawned on me baggage claim is a unique metaphor for the Christian journey.
Every Christian has “baggage”, even if we pretend like we don’t. We have those “stories” and “items” we don’t want others to see. Some “carry it” daily. Others “check it” with Jesus (the much better option), but the baggage still exists. And that baggage is OUR baggage. No one else’s. They can try to claim it, but it’s the wrong bag. They have their own baggage to carry.
There may be similar “bags” on the conveyer belt of life. Maybe the same size. Or the same shape. But our baggage still is our baggage. No one else can take it home with them.
One day, our baggage will disappear when we arrive at our final destination in Heaven. Until that time, we carry it with us the best we can. The “baggage” is a result of a broken world. We all make mistakes, and we often carry the consequences of those mistakes for years; but Jesus gave His life so our baggage wouldn’t be charged against us. In the words of Southwest Airlines, our “bags fly free.”
As you gather today around the Lord’s Table in sweet communion. As you lift your voice in one accord. As you praise your Father for all He has done, lay your baggage at God’s feet. His blood flows over every imperfection.
Will you bring your baggage today? I plan to bring mine. I’ll meet you at baggage claim.