The Norman Transcript

Religion

December 20, 2013

Everything changes this season

NORMAN — December 7, 2013, is a day that I will always remember.

From the bow of the USS Missouri, I watched naval launches shuttle passengers to the USS Arizona memorial. As I toured the Missouri, I stood at the spot where Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the Allied leaders accepted the Japanese surrender.

Staring across Pearl Harbor, it dawned on me that 72 years ago in that very spot, death and destruction rained down on Battleship Row as Japan drove our nation into World War II.

Today, the Missouri is moored near the place where the USS Oklahoma took several torpedoes, capsizing in minutes and claiming the lives of 429 crew members. My soul and emotions stirred as I realized how everything changed that day.

I was at Pearl Harbor as the parent of Norman North band students. The NNHS band was invited to play at the USS Oklahoma memorial ceremony and to represent the state of Oklahoma at the Pearl Harbor Day Parade. The band represented our state and community with great class and honor.

As the band played near the Oklahoma memorial prior to the ceremony, a Schofield Barracks survivor approached and asked if he could direct the band. With great joy, he directed, the band played and those present relished the moment.

After finishing, he said that he always wanted to be a band director, but the war changed that. Have you experienced anything similar? A moment in life where everything changes?

Christmas is one of those moments in which everything changes. Regrettably, the commercialization of Christmas has minimized, if not significantly negated, the transformative nature of Christmas.

You see, the kind of change I speak of doesn’t come from a little round man in a red suit. It comes from the radical and revelational news that in the person of Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem, “God is with us.” Everything changes with Christmas because God “emptied” Himself, took on the form of man, and walked among us. His birth and life are the hinge point of history.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Religion
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two rabbis sharing their passion

    STILLWATER — Two rabbis from Brooklyn recently spent time in Stillwater meeting with Jews and reconnecting them with their traditions, rituals and heritage....

    July 31, 2014

  • School Roundup in its 10th year

    In its 10th year, Alameda Church of Christ and Streams of Water Ministry are ready to roll out the backpacks for the Back to School Roundup. This year’s event will be from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 9 at the church, 801 E. Alameda St. ...

    July 31, 2014

  • In praise of lonely places

    I grew up in a tough neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. The Berlin Wall was never so formidable a barrier as Woodland Avenue which separated the black neighborhood of the projects from Murray Hill or “Little Italy” as it was known. Like ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Expain Jesus’ impatience with fig tree

    The Rev. Joe Nassal, priest at Precious Blood Center in Liberty: The context provides a clue. At this point in the Gospel, Jesus arrives in Jerusalem to complete his mission....

    July 31, 2014

  • Tests of a living faith

    We recently started a study on Wednesday nights of the letter James wrote to the church. This Bible book is a practical guide to Christian living, but more than that, it really forces one to think honestly about their faith. Is your faith ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Which Bible bit is most misinterpreted?

    The Rev. Scott Gordon, Claycomo Baptist Church: Many passages vie for consideration, but the first “bit” that came to mind we find in Matthew 7:1-6 and Romans 2:1-5....

    July 24, 2014

  • CAIR-OK plans day of service

    The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will join Mercy Youth Club and IST Youth at the fourth annual Ramadan Day of Service Saturday....

    July 18, 2014

  • Guest preacher and author to speak

    The Reverend Dr. James White will preach, as well as discuss, his new book, “Brief Christian Histories: Getting a Sense of Our Long Story,” this Sunday at First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster. White will preach at both 8:40 and 10:45 ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Life on earth is a vapor

    The last of the baby boomers turn 50 this year. This generation of Americans, born from 1946-1964, is named after the post-World War II “baby boom.” I am a baby boomer and as one of the “late boomers,” one of the last to turn 50 — ...

    July 17, 2014