"A Long Time Ago "
June 15, 2009
Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, dangers from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers. 2 Corinthians 11:25b-26
When St. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he could clearly remember his shipwreck and the time he was adrift at sea.
Millvina Dean, who died last week, had no such recollections. Millvina, the last surviving passenger from the Titanic, never was able to recall the crash, the panic, being put into a canvas mail sack, being lowered from the sinking ocean liner, and being placed in a lifeboat.
We probably shouldn't be surprised at Millvina's inability to remember what happened that terrible night more than 96 years ago. You see, Millvina -- the youngest passenger aboard that great ship -- was only nine weeks old at the time of the disaster.
No, we shouldn't be surprised Millvina's recollections were non-existent. Millvina was almost nine before her mother shared the story of the disaster with her. Only then was the little girl told how her father had gone down with the other 1,500 passengers who died that night.
Yes, there are differences between the shipwrecks of St. Paul and Millvina Dean.
But, there is also a similarity: both of these people were saved entirely by the action of someone else.
Millvina was saved by unseen hands that lowered her to safety and St. Paul, along with the rest of us, are rescued by the nail-pierced hands of the crucified and risen Savior.
Because Jesus did what He did, because He was selfless enough and completely committed to the cause of saving us, we have been forgiven in this world and been promised a safe haven with Him above.
And, just as Millvina continued to be thankful for those unknown hands, which had rescued her, so it is only right we continue to praise Jesus for our salvation, which took His life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, because You died for me, I am saved. Because You endured the pain of the cross, I am rescued from eternal death and damnation. May I always remember the sacrifice You made upon Calvary's cross. In Your Name, I give thanks. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries