Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Don't start the revolution without me

By Ted Furlow
Director, Pastoral Planning

April 19, 1775 
By the rude bridge that spans the flood,
Their flag in April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.


- Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1836

Friday will be the 238th anniversary of the commencement of the American Revolution. In the early morning hours of that day, after Paul Revere’s famous ride into history, a small local group of militia met the British troops on the green in Lexington, firing on them as they passed on their way to Concord. That small group was routed by the British, who then continued on their march only to be met at Concord bridge around 7:30 that morning.

The locals stood their ground at one end of the bridge and the British formed ranks at the other. Volleys were fired by both groups at a distance not much longer than the length of the Pastoral Center lounge. The farmers ultimately won out that day, with the British troops retiring to Boston, harassed the whole way by the farmers.

So the revolution really began, and the rest became our American history.

In 1836, a statue was dedicated commemorating the battle, and the “Minutemen” who fought it. It remains in place today, graced by a plaque which presents Emerson’s poem, the Concord Hymn.

There is some irony that this date will be remembered in the same week as the bombings in Boston. Our nation, full of its shortcomings and excess, born in the smoke of battle, reliant on our participation as its citizenry, continues to exist in a milieu of violence as our home and our legacy. On Friday I invite you to not only remember and pray for the victims of Mondays events, but to give thanks for our freedoms and to ask God’s grace to guide us in an uncertain future.

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