Here is a picture of our two girls, Jennifer and Brittany standing in front of Puerto Niegra, the ancient city gates of the oldest city in Germany. Trier is the homeplace of ancient Romans whose ruins still stand in the city today. It is also the site of the home of Karl Marx. In modern day, it is the host of one of the best Christmas Markets in Germany. During our visit to the city, the temperature hovered in the upper 20's and snow silently but quickly covered everything and everyone. Perhaps, one of the most impressive sites in the city was the cathederal. This ancient building has survived revolutions and wars and still stands as a testament to the dedication and commitment of people through the ages to the worship of their God. The building is made of huge stone blocks and the interior of the auditorium and the altar reflect the craftsmanship and pride of the ancient artists and builders. As I stood in this massive House of God, I thought about the people who built this building and those who have served in it through the years and maybe, even those who took shelter in it while bombs were dropping all around during the great world wars, or perhaps, those who served clandestinely in order to avoid the prosecution from government authorities. I also thought of the allied soldiers who trudged through deep snow very similar to the snow we experienced today in order to protect the way of life I enjoy today.
Such reflection can only lead to one conclusion for me. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and women who came before me, serving God, serving others, and serving their country. I owe such a debt that I can never repay it. I also owe a debt of gratitude to my Lord who orchestrated every stone as it was laid upon the previous stone in the building of this beautiful temple, and who placed a shield over this building to protect it from the rain of allied bombs on this German city, and who continues to call His people to serve in this building and many others like it around the world today. Most of all, I am thankful to an all-powerful, all-knowing God who saw fit to allow his only son to die on an old wooden cross in order to save me from an eternity in hell. Thank you, Jesus! Amen!