An Heroic Rescue
It wasn’t a great movie, honestly, but it was an inspiring story. The other night, Cyndi and I watched “The Finest Hours.” It was the account of an unbelievably heroic rescue story. On February 18, 1952, during a severe “nor’easter” off the coast of New England, an oil tanker, Pendleton, broke in half. The bow sank, killing all aboard. The stern section ran onto a shoal but was also in danger of sinking with the potential loss of another 32 souls.
A Coast Guard crew of 4 men—in a boat designed to carry 12—braved incredible danger, found the remains of the Pendleton, off-loaded 32 survivors before the hull sank, and returned them safely to shore. It is considered the greatest small boat rescue story in Coast Guard history.
As I watched it, I realized what an appropriate movie this was for Advent! Christmas is a story of an unlikely and perilous rescue mission, in which God sends his own Son into the most dangerous of circumstances to save his beloved children who otherwise were doomed!
This, and nothing less than this, is what is at stake when we celebrate Christmas together—not just a touching story of a child born in a cold barn in a tiny village, but an epic rescue mission mounted from the eternity of heaven, carried out in the face of unwavering opposition and daunting peril. “Jesus” means “savior.” Savior indeed!
One of those who has been rescued—and who ended up being called into the work of rescuing—is a young man named Ellis White! If you want to hear the ironic account of Ellis’ call out of a place called (literally) Hellfire Caves and into the mission of saving other lost souls, take a look at THIS VIDEO. If this doesn’t inspire you to invite a friend to Christmas Eve services, I don’t know what will.
Happy Advent and Merry Christmas.
P.S. Take note: Christmas Eve times are different this year. Our Family Candlelight Services will be at 9:00 and 10:45 in the morning. Then we’ll be back at 6:00, 7:30 and 9:00pm for our Candlelight Evening Services, with communion at the last service. Come to one; serve at another!