Thursday, December 8, 2016

75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

"May our country ever be the instrument of righteousness in the hand of the Eternal."

On the Sunday morning of December 7, 1941, Rev. Jesse Halsey preached his farewell sermon to the Cincinnati congregation he had served for more than 28 years and delivered the pulpit vacant. In the evening, the new pastor Rev. Clayton Williams, a former French minister who was a Paris war refugee, was installed. The succession agreement didn’t happen in the Presbytery of Cincinnati according to standard procedure, but happened via my great-grandfather’s direct order: Jesse wanted to get Rev. Williams out of Nazi-occupied France.

Pearl Harbor occurred between the two services, upsetting everything. At the evening service, Rev. Joseph R. Sizoo, of New York City, said: "If we had confidence in Jesus, we could expect him to say at this time the same thing with which he comforted people at a similar time in the first century. He would repeat today, 'at the heart of things there is a God who is not hate but love.'"

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