"Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:54
On August 27, 1775, only 25 days after the last delegate had signed the Declaration of Independence, General George Washington’s army found itself trapped near Brooklyn’s East River. The British had 20,000 seasoned soldiers ready to attack 8,000 inexperienced colonials. The end would have been imminent, but for some reason, the British forces hesitated.
If the British hesitated, Washington didn’t. Using small boats, carrying a few at a time, Washington led his men in retreat. The night passed and the approach of dawn should have made the ferrying boats target practice for the skilled artillerymen of the British. That is the way history should have recorded the end of Washington and his men. But it didn’t happen that way. Just as the sun came up an unusually heavy fog rolled in and hung on until the last Colonial boat, the boat with Washington on board, launched off from shore. When the fog lifted the British trained their guns upon the place where Washington’s soldiers should have been. They were gone. The best the British could do was to lob some shells at Washington’s skiff, which was out of range.
Sitting as you are in your warm house, far removed from that time, it is easy for many to think of these events in terms of coincidence. Most sophisticated people think it foolish to believe that God sent the fog. Of course, almost every American soldier who recorded the events of that night in their diaries gave credit for these "coincidental happenings" to divine direction.
I guess I’m with the soldiers and not the sophisticates. It’s easier for me to believe that the Lord has His hands in the affairs of humankind than to believe in coincidence. I am not ready to believe that Jesus’ virgin birth in Bethlehem was an accident. I cannot grasp the idea that His fulfillment of hundreds of prophecies, including His death and resurrection, were flukes of fate. I believe, and I invite you to join me in the belief, that God loved the world enough that He sent His Son to save us so that whoever believes on Jesus will not perish but have eternal life. I invite you to join me in believing God loves the world, and each of us.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on November 21, 2004
THE PRAYER: Gracious God, You are the giver of all good things. I believe that You loved the world enough to send Your Son to save us. Open my eyes to all of your blessings today, even those that are small or hidden, that my heart may overflow with thanksgiving. Amen.
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