I just had breakfast with the Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg. Well, not the real Peter Muhlenberg, but a preacher friend of mine named Travis Witt. Travis does a powerful impersonation of the Revolutionary War-time pastor-patriot at churches and other venues around the country.
Travis will be in his full Muhlenberg character at The Awakening 2013 on April 19-20 in Orlando, Fla. The Awakening is a life-changing, spiritual-political revival.
But more on that later.
At breakfast, Travis and I were discussing the man Muhlenberg and what he stood for.
One early Sunday morning in January 1776, Rev. Muhlenberg was preaching what seemed his normal weekly sermon. His Scripture for the day focused on Ecclesiastics 3, which observes, in part, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Muhlenberg continued: “In the language of the holy writ, there was a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.”
With his voice reaching a dramatic crescendo and his congregation now captivated, a fiery Pastor Muhlenberg then declared: “There is a time to fight, and that time has now come!” He then tore away his clerical robes, revealing, underneath, the crisply pressed uniform of a Colonial Army officer.
His congregation gasped.
Pastor Muhlenberg then marched to the rear of the church building, turned and shook the walls, declaring, “Who among you is with me?” That very day, 300 brave men from his relatively small church stood with Peter Muhlenberg to become the 8th Virginia Regiment.