Faithfulness Unto Death – Part Three

Resolve to be faithful in a depraved society remembering, “Faithful is He Who has called you” (I Thess. 5: 24).

If you are faithful Jesus will ultimately reward your faithfulness with “the crown of life.” Out of the ashes of your disaster can rise a tribute to His abiding faithfulness.

At a critical moment during World War II our allied forces broke the German secret code. This major breakthrough enabled our forces to decode and read all the enemy’s secretly coded messages regarding troop deployment, defense placement, and other information vital to our planned invasion of Europe. This gave us tremendous advantages.

One message received chilled British intelligence and was relayed to Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. It told of plans to bomb the beautiful British city of Coventry. This lovely old city was one of England’s crown jewels.

The Prime Minister knew that with the insight gained they could evacuate the city and prepare air defenses to give it greater protection. He also knew that if he did the Germans would know their secret code had been broken. In order not to reveal knowledge of the secret code in hopes to interpret further messages and have greater advantages in preparing for the invasion, the Prime Minister left Coventry with no warning and unprotected.

On the night of November 24, 1940, nearly 500 German bombers bombed the historical English city of Coventry. Over 600 tons of explosives and thousands of incendiaries were dropped. Over 70,000 homes were ruined and 400 people killed. The centerpiece of the city, their 14th Century cathedral was destroyed.

Once my family and I stood amid those ruins. Since that awful night the people have built a modern cathedral. The ruins of the old gothic structure still stand. The old and new walls are architecturally connected. Within the old wall’s hull stand two crosses on soot blackened stone where the altar once stood. One is made from charred beams taken from the ruins. A much smaller one is made from heat twisted spikes used by medieval craftsmen in constructing the original roof. These two spikes were fused in the shape of a cross on the eventful night of the bombing.

There is a message that has been carved in those old walls since the war. It reads: “Father, forgive.”

In front of the altar is another sign with a quotation from Isaiah 6: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.”

The new cathedral of Coventry has much striking art, none more striking than the larger than life sculpture hanging just outside the main entrance. It depicts Michael the archangel with his lance in hand poised triumphantly over a prostrated, manacled dragon, representing Satan. It depicts the ultimate victory.

This artistic depiction of the inevitable and ultimate victory of Jesus over evil is displayed in a spot where only despair and defeat once loomed. It is a reminder of the truth of I Thess. 5: 24: “Faithful is He Who has called you.”

Live each day as an act of faithful devotion to get the most out of it.