Today lives on in infamy as Pearl Harbor Day. I have been to Hawaii and have seen the memorial to all of the lives lost on this day 71 years ago. It was the day that the United States entered the Second World War, it changed the lives of numerous family members and friends.
There were scores of folks, men in their teens and twenties, who gave their lives for the cause. I have never served a church or lived in a community where there were not numerous sacrifices made in that war. I had several uncles that never recovered from the scars of that war. They didn’t have a name for it in the 1940’s, but we know it today as PSD–post-traumatic stress disorder.
My uncle Harold, an on and off figure in my life, and I spent an afternoon driving around Coffee County, AL. I was driving because he had no license. I can remember being parked on the banks of the Pea River as he sipped whiskey out of bottle wrapped in a paper bag and he told me this: “If you ever want to know what Hell is, you needn’t look any further–War is Hell boy.”
So, when I remember this day, I remember his words to me, and look for other celebrations.
As I have grown in my faith, I have learned to look at the calendar, and discover who died or was memorialized on this day. Today happens to be the remembrance of Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan. He was a politician who was drafted to be a bishop of the church in the 4th century. He was a key figure in the Arian/Athanasian battles during that time. He gave away his wealth, lived in simplicity and wrote hymns that survived the centuries. He was largely responsible for the conversion of St. Augustine and was known as one of the great doctors of the early church. He died in April, and because that day fell frequently in Holy Week or Easter Week, the Church moved his remembrance day to his ordination day of December 7. (Read more)
O God, who gave your servant Ambrose grace eloquently to proclaim your righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of your Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellence in preaching and faithfulness in ministering your Word, that your people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.