For the men, women and children living in and around Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941 began as any other Sunday morning. Churchgoers were making their way to services and nearby military personnel were enjoying a late day of sleeping in on their day off. This sun-filled, peaceful morning would soon become anything but typical. Everything changed when just before 8 a.m., planes began raining down bullets and bombs, unbeknownst to all on the island. The Empire of Japan was launching a surprise attack on the United States and its naval base of Pearl Harbor. It was a devastating attack which included an 1,800-pond bomb being dropped directly on the battleship USS Arizona, causing it to quickly sink with more than 1,000 men trapped inside (history.com). By the time it was over, no less than 2,400 Americans had been killed – and almost half as many wounded.
President Roosevelt addressed Congress the next day, requesting a declaration of war. With shocked and fearful citizens listening, the President said that Dec. 7, 1941 would be “a date which will live in infamy.” The attack that day became a rallying point for Americans. For four years, there was a spirit of determination and unity, with men and women fighting, sacrificing and working together for a common cause. As a result of this cohesiveness which began that day at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. and its allies were able to overcome and achieve something that would change history.
Do we have such a rallying point as Christians? What is our cause? The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is that cause. Faith leads us to join Christ by being baptized for the forgiveness of our sins and being resurrected to a newness of life (Col. 2:12). Once this happens, we are in a spiritual battle every day. Paul the Apostle said that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12). He told Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…” (1 Tim. 6:12). If we as Christians can unite and work together, we too can achieve great things. There never has been, nor will there ever be a greater cause than fighting for Christ. Not physically, but spiritually, bringing others to Jesus and changing eternity for them. May we all rally for the cause!