The Ultimate Final Act

interfaith group
courtesy of LA Times

A story almost forgotten: on February 3, 1943, four military chaplains were aboard a troop transport ship crossing the North Atlantic. Struck by a German submarine’s torpedo, the ship sank in the middle of the night. These four men led the new, unprepared recruits, to life jackets. Then the life jackets ran out.

So without hesitating, the chaplains each gave up their own to give to another man.

It is said they linked their arms in prayer as the ship went down into the frigid waters and then sucked them under in the vortex.

The man on the left was a Jewish rabbi, second from left was a Catholic priest, third was a Reformed minister, and on the right was a Methodist minister. Guys there to serve God as they knew him, doing so in different ways with different beliefs, but together sacrificing themselves in the final moments of sacrifice.

They became among the most celebrated heros of World War II. Now they are almost forgotten, along with a cataclysmic war that itself is fading from people’s memories. Jesus said that this laying down of one’s life is the greatest kind of love. And it’s not romantic or pretty.

I encourage you to remember what they did. Think about them.

They had no warning of their final act in life. We may not either. Prepare yourself now. What would you do?