March 12th, 1943.  British Lieutenant General Frederick Morgan steps into a crowded elevator at Scotland Yard in London.  He is on his way to his first meeting as the newly appointed Chief of Staff at Supreme Allied Command.  The purpose of the meeting?  To plan the invasion of Europe and bring World War 2 to an end.  The project code name?  “Operation Overlord.”     Initial target date:  May 1st, 1944.

The plans were “top secret,” hidden even from the hundreds and thousands of people who would eventually carry them out.  The mass production of ships, planes, tanks and ammunition was stepped up.  New and intensive training confronted the troops.  Some 16 million tons of supplies were stockpiled in Britain.  The British, Canadians and Americans assembled nearly three million men.

Most people expected some sort of big move.  But they did not know exactly how it would be carried out, or when, or where.  The plan was concealed amid “iffy” weather.  The lid came off June 6th, 1944.

The secret plan was no longer secret.  The mystery of the high command unraveled as 5,000 ships, 4,000 landing craft and 11,000 aircraft converged over the English Channel, taking aim at Normandy on the coast of France.  The secret was out!  D-Day – the invasion of Europe to break the back of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

So it was with God’s “plan” of salvation, what St. Paul calls in Ephesians “the mystery of Christ.”  God’s Old Testament people knew that a great deliverance was on its way, that Christ was coming.

But precisely how, when and where was not as clear for them as it is for us who hold the completed New Testament.  In God’s good hour, God’s plan of salvation, the “mystery” long foretold in the Old Testament, finally unfolded.  D-day – the day of God’s deliverance.

Before time was, God set His love on us out of pure grace, planning to make us His very own.  In time, God brought this plan to pass when His Son landed on our shores to deliver us by His life, death and resurrection.  On time, God the Holy Spirit brought us to believe this through the Word and Sacraments, setting our feet on the path to our home above.  There is a plan!  The secret is out!  Christ has landed on our shores, taken back our hearts, and set us free.  This is the secret that lifts the burden, that breaks the chain, that mends the mind, that heals the heart.  It is a secret we dare not keep.