Dear Members and Friends at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church,
General George Washington was a great American hero not only because the victory over the British but because of the principles by which he lived. One instance shows the example he was to the Army and the nation as a whole.
In the winter of 1777-1778, Washington's Army camped at Valley Forge. At one point 1/4 of the 9,000 soldiers were deemed unfit for duty due to a lack of shoes and clothing. It was a tough winter. GEN Washington ordered 900 cabins to be made for the men and then sealed up tight with clay to keep them warm.
GEN Washington himself had a nice farm house in which to reside, but he didn't stay there right away. He slept in his canvass tent until all the cabins were completed. When his men could stay indoors then the General moved indoors. He shared in their suffering. So much more did our Savior do for us. He took on sin. Joined us in suffering because of our sin. He suffered in body and soul even the tortures of Hell.
As great as GEN Washington was, he didn't win the war by himself. Other commanders and the common infantryman each did his part to win the day. Take for instance Colonel Henry "Little Ox" Knox.
He had a daring plan to take 60 tons of artillery captured at Ft. Ticonderoga and haul it 300 miles in the winter to Boston. He was sure that would end the siege of Boston and drive the British out of the city. COL Knox had a vision and it became reality.
In the winter of 1775 COL Knox began the trek. 59 pieces of artillery were placed on sledges pulled by 80 teams of oxen. They has to cross frozen lakes and rivers and then drag the sledges across varied terrain all without good roads, bridges, or wheels.
Knox began the work on 5 December and on 24 January 1776 they reached Cambridge, MA. Six weeks later they made the undercover move to Boston. Imagine 60 tons of cannon being moved "undercover". Thousands of Americans worked at bringing up the canon to the hills surrounding Boston on the night of 4 March.
They not only set up the canons but also prepared earthen defenses against a British assault. The next morning when GEN Howe woke up, he gazed up to the hills and saw what the Americans had done. He said. "The rebels did more in one night than my whole army would have done in one month". COL Knox achieved an incredible, amazing feat! On 17 March thousands of British troops evacuated Boston and sailed away.
GEN Washington was a great man, but without his troops and valiant commanders like Henry Knox, he could not have succeeded. A General without dedicated, resourceful, daring troops is like a boxer without any arms.
A congregation can only succeed because wonderful men, women, and children each use their God given abilities to further His kingdom. We can't pin the work on just one man (pastor or layperson) or one small group of people. The church flourishes under the providential hand of God and the people of God using their abilities to His glory.