Yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of one of the deadliest battles, and biggest seaborne invasions, in history. Our former pastor, Dr. Carver McGriff, was an infantryman in the invasion and was shot and captured. He leads tours to France and takes people on the path he followed as a nineteen year old serviceman from Indiana. He was there a few weeks ago on Memorial Day and participated in remembrance ceremonies.
There is no way for us to fully express our gratitude to the almost 10,000 soldiers who died and the many thousands more who were wounded and fought that day. It is forever remembered as D-Day. The D stands for day. The expression is somewhat peculiar. It's like saying Day-Day. "The Day" is given to the launch of a major military event, in this case June 5. All days after are known as The Day plus one, The Day plus two, etc. In other words, this is recognized as a history changing day. The world would not be the same after this offensive. The future would be better and brighter. It would be like time is starting over.
What started with a tiny beachhead was all the entry point that was needed. In less than a year Allied Forces would have Hitler pinned in a Berlin bunker where he committed suicide. The entry-point was costly, but the result gave new life and hope to all.
When was your D-Day, spiritually speaking? God entered history in a small beachhead called Bethlehem. This was a costly act for God, but the outcome was hope for every person from then on. Can you recall a time when you invited Christ to enter your life? That becomes like The Day and everyone after is that Day plus. We are called to live in hope and share hope. When we do, we help others experience their own Day.
There is an unusual line on 2 Peter 3:12 where the apostle speaks of hastening The Day. In this case it refers to the day of Christ's return, the completion of all God has promised. The writer says we actually hasten the coming of that day with the way we live. When we choose to live in hope, share hope in Christ, love and serve others, we hasten the coming of the Day. It's like a reversal of D-Day as we countdown to that day.
In other words we live between The Days. We have the day Christ invaded our lives, and we live toward the day when that invasion will be complete. We live in June 6, 1944. An invasion has occurred, but the struggles of this life aren't over. We march toward a better future confident that the final victory will belong to God.