As I’m sure have seen on the news and on social media this week that yesterday was the 75th 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.
It was quite a courageous assault by those soldiers from “the greatest generation,” as they have been called. And it’s not hard to do the math to realize that those brave men who stormed the beaches of France (and also in the South Pacific)–and survived to come home–are well up in their years 75 years later. In fact, I heard this week that 400 World War II veterans die every day in America.
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.
Cullmann’s point was surely more familiar to those of his generation who lived the agony, and the victory, of a world war. But with yesterday’s momentous anniversary of the famous Normandy invasion, I am reminded of the truth he stated all the more.
So, what’s the point for us as Christians? Jesus Christ “decided” our final outcome 2,000 years ago on the cross. That victory is assured, and secured for us, because of His sacrifice on that “D-Day” at Calvary. Yet, we still must face our share of spiritual battles–many of which we lose–as we await V-Day, when our Lord will return and receive us into Himself, forever to live in His peace.
So, hang in there as you faithfully “fight the good fight.” We already know the outcome, even if sometimes the battle gets fierce. We win!
I’m praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.