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Pastor's Blog

Pearl Harbor

Rick BlogTomorrow marks the 75th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack that resulted in the American participation in WWII.

Earlier this year, I fulfilled a lifelong dream: to visit Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii. My wife and I had the pleasure of spending portions of two days touring the Memorial at Pearl Harbor, the USS Bowfin Submarine, the Battleship Missouri, and the Pacific Aviation Museum. We were sobered to stand over top of the 608 ft USS Arizona and see the base of gun turret #3 sticking up out of the water and the occasional bubbles of oil rise to the surface to remind us of what remains buried underwater, trapped under the USS Arizona - some 948 men. The casualty count was so high (1177) because of a bomb that hit at 08:06 AM in the vicinity of Turret II, likely penetrating the armored deck near the ammunition magazines located in the forward section of the ship. About seven seconds after the bomb hit, the forward magazines catastrophically exploded, mostly venting through the sides of the ship and destroying much of the interior structure of the forward part of the ship. It was a sudden and violent moment from which the ship had no chance of recovery. The Arizona was gone as were the men who were aboard. The Navy decided that it was not only impractical, but irreverent to those entombed to attempt to raise the ship. Both moral and ecological considerations caused the Navy to dedicate the site as a tribute to the men who were lost on that quiet December 7th Sunday morning.

As I stood and looked at the Arizona, my mind went to other notable devastations that have so dramatically affected mankind. The most significant devastation that man has ever known was the explosive impact that sin has had on all of us. It is as if there was a total loss of humanity on that day that Adam sinned - the casualty count was inestimable! We were all buried under the capsized hull of carnality and flesh. There was no way that any of us could possibly make it out alive - nor could we be delivered by any effort of our fellow man.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7).

Whereas the USS Arizona Memorial serves as a tribute to the men lost at the attack on Pearl Harbor, believers serve as a tribute to the power of the resurrection of Christ Jesus to give us life. Praise the Lord for victory!