Religion

What the Bible says about D-Day

Today is D-Day, the day my wife Debbie and I got married in 1992. (Now we have six children whose names all begin with “D,” but we didn’t deliberately wed on D-Day.)

Remember D-Day 1944? No matter when you were born, you should.

That day all our futures hung in the balance.

About 156,000 Allied military personnel invaded Normandy, France on D-Day. By July 4, over one million men had landed to free Europe from Nazi control.

Allied victory at first seemed so uncertain that Dwight Eisenhower handwrote this press release on June 5, 1944:

“Our landings . . . have failed . . . and I have withdrawn the troops.

“My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

Then Eisenhower put the note in his wallet. Later, thank God, he threw it in a wastebasket.

Two weeks ago I mentioned D-Day to Ed, a retiree friend.

To my surprise, Ed told me that he had landed on Omaha Beach that day.

“A lot of memories,” he said, his voice trailing off. “You try to remember the good ones.”

The best I can do to recall memories Ed would like to forget is to visualize again the opening scenes of the movie “Saving Private Ryan.”

When I saw it in the theater, Spielberg’s portrayal of the Omaha Beach landing transfixed me. I clenched my jaw for a half hour, thinking over and over:

“Those men did that for me. They died for me.”

What does the Bible say about D-Day? Two things, especially:

n War is a necessary evil in this wicked world.

Some would urge all Christians to beat their swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4), but as much as Christians worldwide work and pray for peace between nations, we won’t see it until the Prince of Peace reappears.

Meanwhile, being a member of our country’s armed forces is honorable, and the well-trained, disciplined Manatee County sheriff in our congregation needs to carry his firearm.

n Every day is a day of thanks to Jesus, God’s Son. He willingly died to free us from the eternal death we all deserved.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Rev. Daniel A. Witte, pastor of Risen Savior Lutheran Church, can be reached at 747-5564 or go to www.rsavior.com. Faith Matters is written by local clergy members.

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