28 Dec 2014. Dad’s 10-year death anniversary. On this day, flight QZ 8501 from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore went missing. It was heartbreaking news. Whole families disappeared; many were returning to Singapore after spending Christmas holidays in Surabaya or coming here to spend their New Year holidays.
A family of seven coming here to join a cruise went missing. A 15 year old girl waited in vain at the airport for her parents and two brothers to return. A father and infant were on that fateful flight, but the mother and her young daughter survived because they couldn’t get seats on the same plane. And many other stories of grief. It was heart wrenching when we heard of those left behind pining for their families, wishing they had been with them.
Then there are those 23 who missed the flight. A family of 10 arrived at the airport only to realise they had missed the rescheduled earlier flight all because they had missed emails and calls from the airline. What was anger directed at the airline quickly turned into immense gratitude. Another family of 5 cancelled holiday plans the night before when their grandpa fell sick.
Countries around the region rallied to help in the search and rescue operation, and failing which, now to locate and retrieve debris and bodies.
What have i learnt from this sad tragedy? Christ is at the heart of Christmas, family is the soul. It’s not the tree nor the gifts nor the party. Without Christ, there won’t be any Christmas. Without our family or loved ones, somehow Christmas is not quite complete. Christ Himself was also born into a family.
Lord Jesus, we thank you for our family, and we pray very much for those who have lost theirs, and those who are lonely. By R