Tuesday, October 06, 2020

World War 2 Artefacts

All pictures courtesy of Unsplash 

As a young boy, I was always fascinated by a few artefacts from World War II that were dotted around my grandparents’ house. These included large brass shells that had been polished and transformed into umbrella stands, some wooden boxes, an old army belt and an actual incendiary bomb that had been made safe.

I was always fascinated by history and would ask my grandfather to tell me stories from his experiences during the war. Even as a young boy I recognised that he had told me stories reluctantly and that these stories had been somewhat sanitised for my hearing.

My grandfather believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. As a Christian, at the outbreak of World War II, he didn’t want to fight and possibly be taking the lives of enemy soldiers and in effect ushering them into eternity, which they may not have been prepared for. He believed, as the Bible teaches that there are two eternal destinations, Heaven for those that accept God’s forgiveness and Hell for those who refuse the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

To avoid being put into this position, he decided to join up early so that he would have a choice where he served. He chose to join the Medical Corp, so that he wouldn’t have to carry arms. 

One of the first jobs he was given to do was just outside Bristol on the Downs. As the bombers flew over from Germany to bomb Bristol, they would send the first wave to drop incendiary devices to light the way, pointing out the targets to the second wave of bombers. He along with a few others were asked to light fires on the Downs to deflect the bombers away from the city, thus saving lives. Obviously, he with his comrades were in great danger. They had to dive into a bunker pulling sandbags over the door while bombs dropped around them.

My grandfather served as part of the Medical Corp in many areas, such as North Africa and Italy, he received many medals for bravery. He did this not carrying guns, but stretchers, pulling many soldiers from the battlefield. His faith in Jesus Christ had taught him to show love to those who had not shown love to him. In fact, he knew that our sin had made us enemies of God. God was not our enemy, we were His!

How did God react to our hostility? Did He treat us as an enemy?  No not at all, the Bible says that while we were still sinners, doing the very thing that God hates… Christ died for us.

Another Christian relative of mine found himself guarding a German war hero, this man had been awarded an Iron Cross by his country for bravery. Some of the other guards treated him badly, but my relative showed him kindness. As a result, he reacted with gratitude and cut a part of the ribbon from his Iron Cross and gave it to him.

God’s love is immense! Jesus Christ died taking the punishment that we deserved.  He expects us to react with gratitude, trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and allowing Him to lead in our lives.

In the box among my grandfather’s medals is the piece of ribbon that was given, it obviously had great significance to those involved.

When we read the Bible and think of how much God has loved us, how do we react? Do we reject Him or do we worship Him and trust in Him for what Jesus Christ has done on the cross for us?

Messages with Meaning written by Stuart Scammell for 542day and published with permission

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