April 12, 2010. Silverdale, WA.
No humor today. No clever turn of phrases today. Nothing creative. Still, I hope these words make a difference…
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day and I pause to remember that my mother-in-law’s Jewish Mom was lost to her, her family, and their offspring forever during those terrible days of World War Two. My beloved and her brother never had the privilege of meeting and knowing their Oma. My children and their cousins can only wonder, “What must she have been like?”
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day and I pause to remember that my mother-in-law’s non-Jewish father was lost to her, her family, and their offspring as well because he fell in love and married a Jewish lady. During those terrible days of World War Two he endured the devastation of having her swept away from him never to see her again. In the tragedy and horror of those terrible events he was also separated from his only child, Elfrieda—my dear Mother-in-Law. It was not until he was near death that she discovered he was still alive… captive, along with millions, behind the Iron Curtain. My children and their cousins can only wonder, “What must he have been like?”
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day and I pause to remember that throughout the land of Israel air raid sirens pierce the air warning that the world is still filled with Adolph Hitler’s. Hamas and Hezbolah, the leaders of Iran and Syria, the leaders of the displaced Palestinians (who themselves are unwelcome in all mid-east countries), and newspapers in Saudi Arabia and Egypt do not call for peace with Israel, but for the destruction of Israel. This ugliness against the Father’s chosen follows an unbroken historical line back to 70 AD and the destruction of the Temple and the Dispersion of the Israelites from their homeland.
God is still faithful and his faithfulness to the Israeli Nation will not be broken. From the moment he said these words to Abraham,
“I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you,”
until the New Heavens and the New Earth are established, Israel will be tied to the land they inhabit. Forgetting this is a frightful thing.
God loves his chosen people. So much so that the Apostle Paul once said he would be willing to give up his salvation and his place with God if only his Jewish brothers and sisters would turn their hearts to the Messiah. Check it out…
“I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day and I pause to remember that on one special Thanksgiving holiday back in the mid-eighties, my beloved Vanita had the privilege of introducing her Mom to her Messiah…and one more child of the Father’s scattered found her way home. I also pause to remember that they now find themselves basking in the Savior’s presence. And while I do not know the eternal disposition of Vanita’s Oma and Opa, she and her Mother do…and they are able to rejoice in a more certain knowledge of the Father’s wisdom and plans, because no matter how hard the enemy of God and the enemies of God’s people try to prevail, they cannot. God is on his throne and he still reigns.
Finally, today is Holocaust Remembrance Day and I pause to remember that while sirens pierce the air of the Israeli homeland, they call for not only remembrance, but for prayer. So, “Father protect your people. However, I do not only mean physically. Protect them spiritually. Should this mean more suffering, then I pray they will be receptive to your call. I pray also for those who seek their destruction. I pray that an onslaught of missionaries might be raised up to invade their lands with a strategy of eternal love found in the person and work of your Son, our Lord Jesus. I pray for our President. Let him surprise and shock the world. Cause him to turn his lectern into a pulpit. Cause him to live out the words he sometimes expresses regarding a Christian worldview. And I pray for your church around the world. Break us if you must, but please bring us to our knees that we might be swept up in your decrees more than we are swept up in our nationalities, politics, and economic dreams. Amen.”