On this day, April 18, 1775, British troops marched out of Boston on a mission to confiscate the American arsenal at Concord and to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington. As the British departed, Boston Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes set out on horseback from the city to warn Adams and Hancock and rouse the Minutemen. Inspiring the poem by Longfellow….
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm…
Revolutionary courage – not something we are known for as a nation these days. We have become better at name calling, back-biting, and in-fighting. The Gun lobby on one side and political posers on the other leave the majority of Americans scratching their heads asking what America do I live in?
Spiritual emptiness is what seems to be the biggest cause. We have lost our way and only see politics as the answer to our problems when changing the human heart is the greatest change agent. Spiritual change is the greatest revolution of spirit.
Henry Cumings, in a sermon preached at Lexington, MA on the 19th of April, commemorating the beginnings of a revolutionary war said, “The manner of your observing this day, in commemoration of the commencement of the present war, the scene whereof, was first opened in this place, does you honor, as it gives an evidence, at once, of your piety, and of your patriotism and firm attachment to the cause of your country. With honest indignation we recollect the day, when the storm of British vengeance, which had been long gathering, first burst upon your heads, in the wanton massacre of several of your brave fellow citizens and soldiers. The memory of those, who have magnanimously jeoparded their lives, and shed their blood in the country’s cause, will ever be dear to us. We particularly retain an honorable remembrance of those, who first fell a sacrifice to British wrath; and feel emotions of sympathy toward their surviving relatives, who cannot but be sensibly affected on this occasion. We would also join with you, in grateful acknowledgments to God, who mercifully checked the wrath of our enemies in its first eruptions, and caused it to recoil back on their own heads. We doubt not, but from the warmth of honest resentment; from a love of liberty and of your country, you will persevere to oppose and resist those insolent and haughty enemies…”
Ultimately the “Wise” honor God for checking violence through the change of the human heart. We do not legislate that change we witness by faith to that need. When the human heart changes – society changes. No bomb at a marathon and no vote in the Senate will change the human heart. It is a nation on its knees that changes our country. We have much to ask forgiveness for but instead we resort to blame and name calling. First, let us confess our failure to honor God through our lives, then listen for God to answer.