A Word From the Pastor
Posted: April 23rd, 2015
Elmer Bendiner was a navigator on an American bomber during World War II. On a bombing run over the city of Kassel, Germany, his B-17 Bomber was attacked by Nazi anti-aircraft guns. This was not unusual, of course, as Bendiner had navigated several such flights and had faced barrages of anti-aircraft artillery before. This time was different.
The fuselage of the plane was struck by an artillery shell. However, the 30 millimeter shell did not explode. Naturally, the crew was surprised the plane had survived such an intrusion. The pilot, Bohn Fawkes, asked the crew chief to investigate the incident further to determine why the shell remained intact. Surprisingly, the crew chief discovered there were actually eleven unexploded shells in the fuel tanks!
The shells were carefully removed from the plane and turned over to the armory for evaluation. Amazingly, the investigators discovered all of the shells were empty. They contained no explosive charges. However, one of the shells contained a note with some message scribbled in Czech. A translator was found to decipher the message. It read, “This is all we can do for you now.” (This story is found in Elmer Bendiner’s book, The Fall of Fortresses, Putnam Publishing Group, 1980.)
Wow. Somewhere in an artillery factory during the Nazi occupation, there were some Czech workers who were doing what they could to aid the Allies.
This month we are exploring the meaning of courageous. We have been inspired by the examples of Jesus, Thomas, Ruth and the early followers of Jesus. Each of these examples has provided us with insights about how we can be bold today in our journey as a Christian.
We have to learn how to demonstrate courage, tempered by grace and compassion. Our culture needs to hear from bold witnesses for Jesus. However, our courage is couched in grace and humility.
As Peter and John declared to the Sanhedrin, “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).