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Keys to the kingdom

On 15 January 2009, US Airways flight 1549 hit a flock of geese. Both engines failed. The plane was flying over New York. Potential disaster loomed. Not only were the 155 occupants on board in danger, but thousands more could have been killed had the plane hit one of New York’s skyscrapers. Captain Chesley B ‘Sully’ Sullenberger III guided the crippled US Airways plane with immense skill and courage. He performed a successful emergency landing on the Hudson River. Not a single passenger died, nor were there any serious injuries. The Mayor of New York City gave to the heroic pilot, who had saved them, the keys to the city.

To give someone the keys to a city is an immense privilege. They symbolise access and authority. Keys are usually given in recognition of some great service to the city. In the New Testament, we see that Jesus is the key holder.

Nicky Gumbel - UK Vicar, Alpha Course (1955- )

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