"Revival: Our Great Need" July 6, 2013
Revelation 3:14-21; Hebrews 12:7-11; Matthew 25:1-13; Zechariah 3:1-5; Song of Solomon 5:2-5.
America's bloodiest battle has come back to life. Many believe the Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1 to 3, 1863, was a turning point in the war. Now, 150 years later, Civil War actors and history buffs have gathered to re-enact this crucial slice of the War Between the States. Over 10,000 participated in a giant play this year that, in the original battle, left 51,000 people dead.
The passion of participating by some actors runs high. They have prepared years in advance.
"They march in heavy (and hot) wool uniforms carrying authentic knapsacks, artillery, and camp gear - which they furnish themselves at a cost of nearly $1,000. They eat typical campaign food - hardtack, salt pork and fruit. They know how to line up for battle and how to handle their weapons. They've done the drills, they know the maneuvers. They organize their camp just right, and sleep together under the stars.
"To live as they lived on the ... battlefields and in the camps, you begin to appreciate how difficult not only were their individual lives and how difficult it was in the battles, but also how chaotic and how frightening it could be," Collins, a Harwich software developer, said.1
Collins remembers a previous re-enactment at Gettysburg-Pickett's Charge-which was a dramatic victory for Union troops.
"I remember standing there in the firing line, completely encased in smoke," Collins said. "The air around me was completely gray and there was chaos all around me." Suddenly, he heard orders coming through the smoke. Troop silhouettes approached. There was a flag, but he couldn't see which one it was. Finally, when the men were less than 25 yards away, he could see that they were the enemy. "It really hit home to me what these men would have to deal with," he said.
Our Sabbath school lesson this week introduces us to a new topic for the quarter-Revival and Reformation. As we reflect on the passion that many have for American Civil War history (and the birth of a nation), we look at a church that has lost spiritual fervor. Laodicea is apathetic and indifferent. The great war between good and evil leaves them yawning and yearning to tune into the proxy pleasures that erode their original passion for a connection with Jesus.
A Christian's bloodiest battle must come back to life. We must wake up to face the enemy. We are at a turning point in history. Will we accept the rebuke that we are lukewarm? Are we blind to the reality of our situation? Will we turn to the support for our troops that only God can provide? It's time to prepare for battle. It's time for us to be revived.1
1. Cap Cod News
Media: How Civil War Soldiers Fought in the Battle of Gettysburg You Tube