Friday, December 7, 2012

Dec 7th 71 years later:

Many people over the age of eighty will ask each other, “Do you remember where you were this day in 1941?” It is like aour asking about where we were on 9-11.  There are many who do remember when they heard the news of the bombing of our naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. They can recall the shock and anger of neighbors and remember hearing the broadcast of President’s Roosevelt’s speech before Congress the following day, asking for a declaration of war against Japan. He said it was a day that would live in infamy and now the US and Japan are best friends and the date is hardly noticed. In time it will be just a note in history that our grandchildren will have to remember for a history test.

I knew a couple whose wedding anniversary was December 7, 1941.  The wedding was scheduled for that evening. Andy was in the Army, so when the news broke, they knew he would be going overseas. Their parents wanted them to wait, but the couple decided to go ahead with the ceremony. Their marriage lasted 45 years, ending only at his wife’s death.  Andy reflected, “We just knew it was the right time. We believed that the war would end and we could create a good home and life together.” They did just that.

This is truly a word of hope in desperate, trying times. A thoughtful reading of history uncovers many periods when people believed that the times were so evil that the world must soon come to an end. Something had to happen—a change big enough and bold enough to stop the destruction and make new beginnings possible.   

In a letter to the Galatian Christians, Paul wrote, “When the right time finally came, God sent His Son, born of a woman…”  Just think:  when the world was in terrible straits, God sent…a baby!  This birth is a sign of help and hope in a vulnerable human form.

Yet, isn’t that how hope comes:  in a stirring of confidence, a glimpse of possibility here or there,  a flicker of something new and different.  And then it grows, slowly at first so we can comprehend and embrace we can understand how hope can become a reality.

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