Friday, 28 May 2010

A Miracle of Deliverance

A "miracle of deliverance"...that's what Winston Churchill called it. And while the evacuation of British and French troops from Dunkirk by a flotilla of largely civilian manned boats under fire from German artillery and fighter planes doesn't quite reach the genuinely miraculous heights of the Exodus across the Red Sea of the Israeites, we can easily understand why Churchill drew upon Biblical allusions to convey the significance of this momentous event. Surely, while it was not quite a miracle in the theological sense - they didn't escape by walking on the waters of the English Channel, or even through divided walls of water, and no divine intervention was immediately apparent - at the very least the extraordinary providence of God was at work for good, ensuring that the less evil side in this conflict would live to fight another day and finally be victorious.

D-Day may have changed the outcome of WWII and the course of modern history, but odds are there would not have been a D-Day without the Dunkirk evacuation.

Dunkirk: 70 years ago today.

Lest We Forget.

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It must be a peculiarly Anglo trait to turn a disastrous military defeat into a moral victory - cf Gallipoli.

Co-incidentally, I recently visited a lady who worships in one of my congregations whose late husband flew Spitfires in the Battle of Britain.


Matthias said...

Tonight I will download and play ETERNAL FATHER STRONG TO SAVE in honour of the BEF ,the Free French and Belgians and all of those brave people who manned the Armada of small ships that saved them.
" Seventy years on
all nearly gone
i thank them for their bravery
And Thank God for a Calm sea
I pray Lord we meet in Eternity

M.A. Henderson said...

It's an amazing story, isn't it Matthias.
I particularly like the photo I found, it's like a window back in time.

Melanchthon said...

Thank you for the remembrance. Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. (begun to remember the Civil War dead on both sides) and I still reflect on the tremendous resolve of free peoples to fight tyranny. Citizen soldiers (and sailors) have an amazing record of perseverance, determnation, and ultimate victory.

M.A. Henderson said...

Yes, that's quite right, Jon. here in Oz we commemorate the 'chockos' or 'chocolate soldiers', army reservists who were called up to New Guinea in WWII. They were called chocolate soldiers by regular army because it was thought they woud melt in the heat of battle, but in fact they played a key role in turning back the Japanese Army on the Kokoda Track, the first military defeat inflicted on Japan in WWII, and action which likely saved Australia from invasion..