Thursday, June 7, 2007

After D-Day: Living in the already and not yet

I came across a sermon yesterday called "Becoming Who You Are" that starts this way:

"When the Allied Forces landed on Normandy in 1944 we knew we won the war."

Yesterday was the 63rd Anniversary of D-Day, and I really had meant to find time to post something on this. The D-Day analogy has been used by a good many theologians I've read. Oscar Cullman (1902-1999) in Salvation in History (1946) is probably the most popular, and Emil Brunner (1889-1966) is another. He who wrote,

“Just as the allied troops after D-day... knew that the victory was theirs, even when there lay before them long days and even months of fighting; so Christians, since the D-day of Christ, since the great invasion of the kingdom of God into our history has succeeded and the decisive battle had been fought on the cross, knew that victory was theirs, even when there lay before them long years of fighting.”

ref: The Scandal of Christianity: The Gospel as Stumbling Block to Modern Man (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981[1951]), pp. 99-100.

I know I'm a day late in posting about D-Day, but please don't think I'm a bandwagon jumper on the subject of D-Day.

Actually, I was the official webmaster of the 55th Anniversary Celebration in 1999 in Normandy France. I posted Live internet streaming video, press releases, articles and miscellaneous coverage from the Point du Hoc and Omaha Beach - in 1999! You can check it out on the internet archive (however most of the video and photo links are now broken):

I also got to interact with a lot of the WWII Vets who flew over to commemorate the event; some of them were only 14 or 15 when they fought in the war. Here's one of their stories from the 55th Anniversary.

It was somber and glorious. Normandy was still the one place in France where Americans were considered heroes, friends and brothers. They really, really loved the Americans who visited and were still thanking us. In the cemetery, the memorial inscription reads,

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

In Normandy, the French still retained their memory of D-Day and V-Day. Their concept of the already and not yet had not faded one bit.

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