Author : William Tracy
Eighteen thousand meters up in the sky, two aircraft dance. The larger tanker hovers above the other, and the two vehicles mate. The space plane drinks thirstily, then releases.
The tanker banks to the right, leaving the space plane free to climb. It raises its nose to the sky, and stalls for one heartbeat. Then it shudders as the rocket engages. The sky outside the windows dims, and stars cautiously emerge as the vehicle enters suborbital space. Clouds swirl far below, and the horizon—noticeably curved—is shrouded in a thin veil of atmosphere and crowned by the glimmering aurora borealis.
Inside the cabin, passengers release their safety harnesses and gently rise, weightless. A man in a flowing robe maneuvers to the front, and turns to face his fellow passengers.
He speaks. “Lord, we are gathered here today to become closer to you. Possibly in the physical sense, and certainly in the spiritual sense. We are here to witness Creation, to be awed by its grandeur and by Your power. We look down on the sphere we call home, and we feel small, as we feel small in Your presence. We thank you for this opportunity to experience Your power. We thank You for blessing the engineers with the wisdom and foresight needed to construct this spacecraft, and we thank You for guiding the flight crew to bring us here safely.”
The congregation joins the preacher in saying “Amen.”
Hymns are sung, and prayers are spoken. A sermon is given. The service is carried out in a calm, orderly manner.
As if on cue, moments after the last “amen”, a chime sounds, and the captain speaks. “We have now been in space for two hours, and are ready to begin our descent. Please return to your seats and fasten your seat belts now. Thank you.”
The craft enters the atmosphere. Its fuel spent, its wings swing into position to aerobrake. The vehicle descends to five thousand meters as it glides toward the landing strip.
Then a shoulder-launched missile leaps into the air and strikes the plane, ripping open the fuselage. The craft tumbles from the sky, and tears a burning gash into the earth.
We praise God as we do His work. Those who turn their backs on the light will taste the sting of Hell. The heretics will be purged from the land, and the true faith will remain pure.
God’s will be done. Hallelujah!