By Bill Lewellis
The Morning Call, Feb. 17, 2011
"We are invited to believe." The line jumped out at me from the printed copy of a sermon a friend recently preached. It was on the Dorchester Chaplains. Two Protestant, one Roman Catholic and one Jewish chaplains, they gave up their life jackets and means of rescue to others on the Dorchester, a converted cruise ship whose boiler room was struck by enemy fire on February 3, 1943, one day from their Greenland destination. They are commemorated in an Episcopal book, Holy Women Holy Men.
Diocese of Bethlehem Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow mentioned "the ice and the horribly cold water," 19 degrees, in which they drowned. "We are invited to believe," he said, "that the Lord was there with them. We are invited to believe that theirs was the greatest love, for indeed they laid down their lives for their friends (John 15:13). We are invited to believe that their sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that is being revealed in them (Romans 8:18).
We are invited to believe. What a wonderful way to imagine the faith to which we are called. Not an obligation, not a should or a must, but an invitation. We are invited to trust, as much a matter of the heart as a matter of the head. Perhaps more a matter of the heart.