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Culture
Steph Martin

Stephanie Martin, a writer and editor in Colorado, has 20 years of Christian publishing experience.

In the News

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—Crews from around the world continue searching for flight 370, which mysteriously disappeared on its way to Beijing two weeks ago. The Boeing 777, known for being a safe aircraft, had 239 passengers and crew aboard.

Officials are looking into various theories, including possible foul play by the pilots.

Objects have been located in the Indian Ocean, but bad weather is hindering search efforts. Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s interim Transportation Secretary, said, “As long as there’s hope, we will continue.” He added, “For the families around the world, the one piece of information that they want most is the information we just don’t have: the location of [the plane].”

Although many family members of missing passengers are publicly expressing anger and grief, at least one is trying to be patient. K.S. Narendran of India is waiting for word of his wife’s whereabouts. The uncertainty has shown him “how vulnerable we are, and the things we take for granted.” Narendran said meditating has helped him manage “the menace of an overworked imagination.” He added, “In the ultimate analysis, I am neither favored nor deserted. No one is.”

The sudden disappearance of so many people has caused great intrigue. Columnist Farhad Manjoo said it “stands in stark contrast” to the idea that we’re all “strapped to the grid, never out of touch. It turns out that’s not true.”

Columnist Sally Kohn lamented the media’s obsession with this missing plane. She asks, “Why aren’t we equally fixated on the fact that in this day and age, 1 million children are exploited by the global commercial sex trade every single year — many disappearing right out from under the eyes of loved ones or government agencies?”

Source: cnn.com

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Discussion Starters for Students

What’s your personal opinion about what happened to this airplane, and why? Do you think it could have landed somewhere safely? Do you think we’ll ever know the truth about what happened? Explain.

Why is this story so gripping? Do you think people have a morbid fascination with mass casualties? Why do some tragic stories receive much more coverage than others? How can people learn to value and care about all human life?

Why are there so few real mysteries in today’s world? Do you feel as if you’re always connected and in touch? Why or why not? What are some advantages and disadvantages of going “off the grid”?

What emotions do you suspect the families have been experiencing? If you were in their shoes, how do you think you’d handle the uncertainty?

What headlines or circumstances make you feel especially vulnerable? Have you ever felt separated from God’s love or protection? If so, explain.

Respond to this comment from K.S. Narendran: “In the ultimate analysis, I am neither favored nor deserted. No one is.” Do you think Christians receive special treatment from God? When Christians face tragedies, does that mean God has abandoned them? Why or why not?

Besides being on a plane that goes missing, what are some other ways people can be “lost”? Is it ever possible to be “lost” from God? If so, explain.

Think of someone who went “missing” in your life in some way and then returned. What was the reunion like, and how did you react?

When faced with adversity, how patient do you tend to be, and why? What gives you hope when you’re surrounded by uncertainty?

How valuable do you feel to God, and why? How has having to wait for something affected your faith?

Scripture links: Psalm 121; Matthew 10:29-31; Luke 15:3-10; Luke 19:10; Romans 5:1-5; and Romans 8:38-39.

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