The Four Chaplains – A Commentary

I’m touched by the story of The Four Chaplains. By the heroism, the sacrifice and the amazing constellation of circumstance that brought these four men together. At that hour. At that place. What are the odds that four friends – clergy of four different faiths — would be together when on that dark night, a torpedo changed the world for them.

Let me ask. Do you think the fellow who got priest’s life jacket was first asked “are you Catholic?”  Do you think the rabbi inquired – “are you Jewish?” Or the Methodist or Reformed Church pastors asked- “are you Methodist? Reformed?” I suspect not. Four men died so that four men could live. John 15:13 states “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Could it be that there is a higher message? When these four heroes died, what was important was saving the life of a fellow human being. Knowing that they were sacrificing their own. Might God’s benevolence be similar? Is the criteria for salvation that one be Methodist? Lutheran? Catholic? Jewish? Episcopalian? I’m just askin’. . . .

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