Welcome to Becomning Closer! 

Communion (1995 Series)

Pearl Harbor

Scheduled for December 7

It has been called “a day of infamy.”  It has been called “the greatest military disaster in American history.”  Books have been written to tell how it happened, or show how it should have been prevented.  Movies show it as tragedy.

How seldom we see it as what it really was:  a tremendous victory for the cause of freedom.  Almost no one saw it as such at the time -- almost no one.  Let me share with you two voices who saw it a little differently, on opposite sides of the war and the globe.

The first is a man born and bred for war:  Winston S. Churchill.  Here is his reaction:


“...  So we had won after all!  Yes, after Dunkirk; after the fall of France; after the horrible episode of Oran; after the threat of invasion, when, apart from the Air and the Navy, we were an almost unarmed people;  after the deadly struggle of the U-boat war -- the first Battle of the Atlantic, gained by a hand’s-breadth; after seventeen months of lonely fighting and nineteen months of my responsibility in dire stress, we had won the war. ...  How long the war would last or in what fashion it would end, no man could tell, nor did I at this moment care.  Once again in our long Island history we should emerge, however mauled or mutilated, safe and victorious.  We should not be wiped out.  Our history would not come to an end.  We might not even have to die as individuals.  Hitler’s fate was sealed.  Mussolini’s fate was sealed.  As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder.  All the rest was merely the proper application of overwhelming force.”


On the other side of the globe, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Imperial Japanese Fleet, learned that Japanese emissaries in Washington had not presented the United States with the planned declaration of war before the attack.  On learning this, he refused to join his officers in a victory celebration.  He told them:


“You do not understand.  We have awakened the sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve.”


How must things have looked to the Sanhedrin on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday?  Perhaps they looked then as things look now to the world:  “We’ve heard the last of this Jesus;  he’s dead, he’s buried, he’s gone.”  Then came the dawn.

We do not understand God’s victories.  He tells us that if we would save our lives, we must lose them.  The power of paradox runs through the Gospel, and nowhere greater than this:  our salvation was purchased with His death;  our resurrection guaranteed by His sacrifice. 

Sometimes, we just don’t know good news when we hear it.

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