November 8, 2010

Preparing for Advent

It was October 23, 1983 in Beruit, Lebanon when a suicide bomber plowed a truck into the barracks where over 300 U.S. troops slept. The largest non-nuclear bomb in history pulverized the concrete fortress killing 241 service members, most of them Marines, the most killed in a single engagement since the landing on Iwo Jima in World War II.

In a hospital in West Germany, a severely wounded Marine just moments away from death, was approached by the Commandant of the Marine Corps to offer encouragement.

The wounded Marine looked up from his death bed, and with obvious difficulty, greeted the Commandant with two words, the motto of the Marine Corps, “Semper Fi,” short for “Semper Fidelis” meaning “Always Faithful.”

Even as he prepared to die, the Marine expressed a commitment to something greater than himself __ his faithfulness, dedication and loyalty to the Corps, his fellow Marines and his Country.

In Proverbs we read, “Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablets of your heart."

In the weeks ahead as we prepare for another Advent Season, may we rededicate ourslves to expressions of loyalty and faithfulness to our Savior whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas.