April 26, 1865
“The Civil War ends after four bloody years. Minnesota has sent 25,000 men, about half the state’s eligible male population, to fight the South. More than 600 are killed in battle; twice that number die of disease. At bloody Gettysburg, the First Minnesota Regiment makes one of the most heroic charges of the war. Close to half the regiment is killed or wounded.” *
Lord, You alone know the heart. Thanks that our state had so many who identify with the cause of freedom and overturning slavery. Thanks for the 25,000 who stood up to injustice. Will You bless them, their generations, dwellings, and property this day in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?
All wars have judgments. Most war propaganda seeks to dehumanize the enemy. As a Minnesotan and a son of a U.S. soldier, I acknowledge to You both the pure and the impure motives of the Civil War. There were political motives to establish the power of the Federal government over the states. There were economic motives that the industrial northeast desired to keep the south dependent its manufactured goods and banking prowess. These are just a few, Holy Spirit, that I can think of today. Will You forgive the bitter-root judgments of pride, views regarding states’ rights, and the economic fears between the Northern and Southern ‘kingdoms’ of the United States during the Civil War?
Then, as now, we are often the toughest on the beloved enemies of our own house. These wounds are so painful because they are mixed with a profound breaking of trust; those we have fully “let into” our lives. May we receive Your grace for all beloved disagreements. Will You give us wisdom to resolve these conflicts before permanent schisms result? You understand the betrayal of a friend; Judas was Your disciple and friend, yet he sold You down the river for about $30 worth of silver!?! Will You replace the character assassinations of our American brothers and sisters with the fruit of Your spirit? Will You restore our memories of our brothers and sisters, and erase our recollections of “beloved enemies”?