Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched the largest amphibious invasion in human history on the northern coast of German-occupied France. It was one of the bloodiest battles ever for the Allied forces, with tens of thousands killed and injured. For our generation, the horrific realities of that battle were brought to life in the opening scenes of the movie Saving Private Ryan.
For our parents and grandparents, D-Day was one of the most significant days of their lifetime. More than anything, it marked the beginning of the end, and was the turning point of the European war against Hitler’s forces. In fact, many considered D-Day “where the war was won.” The problem was, it took another 337 days of fighting, and thousands more lives lost, before Germany finally surrendered on May 7, 1945. The next day, May 8, was declared V-E Day, to celebrate the victory in Europe.
I remember reading in seminary a book by Oscar Cullmann–Christ and Time–where the author used the analogy of World War II to illustrate the Christian life. Cullmann proposed that we as Christ-followers are living “between D-Day and V-Day.” I didn’t really understand it then, both because I wasn’t that familiar with the military history of World War II and because I didn’t have a grasp of the warfare that comes in living the Christian life. I understand both a little better now.