It would be superfluous to state that we are a generation which finds itself in the midst of an air age. And, for many many years prior to the first balloon ascension and the first successful flight of a heavier than air machine, man has cast envious eyes at those creatures which God had provided with wings and given the power to soar above the earth. And each bird has his own peculiar powers and aptitudes–the powerful eagle and the soaring swallow and the orderly formation of the geese as they wing their way southward when they know that winter is nigh. And man, dissatisfied creature that he is, has sought out many cunning inventions and behold, today he soars even as a bird, probing the regions above the earth, climbing ever and ever higher, so that even flights to other planets are not considered to be beyond the realms of impossibility!
Many wonderful things have been promised for the future–air-planes to be as common as the family automobile, prices scaled down by mass production, safety factors increased and improved, and many other not inconceivable prediction. For that matter, one may today go to at least two department stores in our city and purchase a plane as readily as one selects a new suit of clothing. And we find ourselves living in that age, an age of speed and an age of many cunning inventions. It is an age which abounds with time-saving devices, yet, paradoxically, we are busier than ever. No longer does it seem that we can find the time to read or meditate. The current cry is to “cut it short”, and that applies to sermons sand articles of spiritual interest as well as other things. Both writers and speakers are asked to condense, and publications which enjoy the most popularity are those filled with “shorts” “itemettes” and “short short stories”. Even our telephone company may upon occasion ask us to limit our calls to five minutes, please! Hurry, hurry, hurry and if you hurry enough you may be able to squeeze out a few hours for “relaxation” and “recreation” (what a prostitute has been made of that last word–“re-creation”)!
And from parson to pew-sitter we are affected and believe that we may find a renewal of strength from the silly means which the world provided for her own in order that they may find an opium-sleep and surcease from our daily cares. Just who do we think we’re fooling besides ourselves? Are we who live in a busy air-minded age so stupid that we expect to relax and become refreshed by spending even our leisure hours with the world? Isn’t it enough that we are obligated to work next to them all day without spending our leisure hours there too? And do we imagine that we can become heir-minded in that way? Or do we suppose that we can very properly criticize the ways of the world, be it from pulpit or pen, when we ourselves plunge headlong after them and delight ourselves in their mischievous ways? Does it never occur to anyone that it is possible to refresh ourselves by a host of other means which will not militate against our confession?
And, as was said, we find ourselves in an air-minded age–an age which saves yet enslaves us to time. The world is hurrying to hell and we must be on our guard lest we hurry along with them and laugh as we go!
And the number who are heir-minded in an air-minded age, is relatively small. Just a few weeks ago we could celebrate the glorious fact of our Lord’s resurrection and the world also apparently joined with us in what they called “Easter”. And, it was as usual also a profitable day for the clothing merchants, the florists and to a greater or lesser extent to poultry-men, rabbit raisers and others.
That tomb is empty. Yes, He is risen. His disciples did not steal that body. It is vain for you, O ye women, to come on that morning so early to anoint that body. No, He is not here! Does He then walk in our streets? Has He returned to us to dwell and make His abode? Can we, as Thomas, doubt and demand that we be permitted to physically thrust our hand into the print of the nails? That is as impossible as Mary’s request to Him, whom she supposed to be the gardener, to show her the place which he might have transferred his body.
No! No! No! We must become air-minded! For to be heir-minded we must be air-minded! He is not here. He is risen! And he was no more among us neither in that physical body which issued forth from His mother Mary nor yet in that glorified body which He received from His Father. And yet, He does walk among us, for He, by the Spirit, forever tabernacles in our hearts. Blessed are we, Thomas, for we have not seen as thou hast seen and yet we believe.
And there were no screaming headlines which proclaimed that ascension. No photographs were taken, no radio networks to proclaim it from one end of the world to the other. It was a small band which witnessed it and the fact of it has been well neigh forgotten even by the nominal church world. For in an air-minded age we so woefully forget to be heir-minded. It is, oh shame, because the world does not celebrate that ascension and commercialize it, that the church of God forgets, almost, that glorious event?
Not much to commercialize is there? No comparable figure adapts itself to this event. No “Easter bunnies”, “Easter lilies”, or “innocent babe-in-manger” caricatures can describe it and the world is at a loss. No scientific analysis can discern how one can successfully defy the law of gravitation and effortlessly ascend into and beyond the clouds. All that the natural man can do is wag his head incredulously and wag his tongue in disbelief. And that ascension does not interest an air-minded generation because they are not heir-minded!
And so, not only has He been raised by the Father from the grave, but also is He risen and seated at the Father’s right hand; gone to prepare a place for us. For we are the heirs of salvation. And, being heir-minded, we shall also be air-minded for from thence we expect Him. Not gazing heavenward in dismay, but rather, because we believe that this same Jesus which is taken up from us into heaven shall so come in like manner as they have seen him depart. And graciously He has sent us the Comforter which testifies with our spirit that we are His children–His heirs.
Air-minded? Yes. And therefore also heir-minded!