It’s Independence Day, and millions of Americans are enjoying picnics, barbecues and fireworks.
While you’re relaxing with friends or family, I’d encourage you to remember what this day commemorates—the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
One of my favorite stories about the American Revolution is about a pastor named John Peter Muhlenberg.
Pastor Muhlenberg had a military background, and toward the end of 1775, George Washington asked him to raise and command the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army.
He agreed, but his brother Fredrick, who was also a pastor, didn’t approve of him going into the army. That is until the British burned down Frederick’s own church in front of him. Then he joined the army himself.
On January 21, 1776 in the Lutheran church in Woodstock, Virginia, Pastor Muhlenberg preached from the third chapter Ecclesiastes, which starts with “To every thing there is a season.”
After reading the eighth verse, “a time of war, and a time of peace,” he declared, “And this is the time of war.” He then threw off his clerical robe to reveal the uniform of a Continental Army Colonel.
Outside the church door the drums began to roll as the men in the congregation turned to kiss their wives and then walked down the aisle of the church to enlist.
Within half an hour, 162 men had joined the 8th Virginia Regiment and went on to fight for our country’s freedom.
After the war, John Muhlenberg served in House of Representatives and then as a US Senator.
I’d encourage you to share Pastor Muhlenberg’s story with your children or grandchildren.
Happy Independence Day from all of us at Shine.FM!
Listen to today’s audio here.