It was worth it, though. The costumes, the drums, the gunfire. It really brought all of the events on the Battle Green and the North Bridge to life.
There is something important about re- enactments. Without them, history can feel like a musty old book. History, like faith, is meant to be acted upon.
One of the things that struck me in our Lenten Adult Education series “Christianity and World Religions” was that so many of the non-Christian religions of the world are less concerned with belief in a set of doctrines than they are in a way of living. That is, faith for many Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and Muslims is first and foremost to be practiced—it is an action, something you do.
While this is also true in the Christian faith, we have a history of getting caught up in litmus tests. Early Confirmation processes, for example, were all about one’s ability to recite the correct catechism. How you lived out the creed you were repeating was inconsequential to the fact that you knew it word for word.
The early split between the eastern and western rites of Christianity, let alone the Protestant reformation, was also founded in differences in belief, not discipleship-in-action.
When it comes to our faith, re-enacting the ministry of Jesus and acting on his call in our lives today brings everything together and full circle. That is, like riding a bike, Christianity cannot be learned in the abstract. You have to get outside and see how it feels to live it.
In addition, when you center yourself in living out your faith rather than making sure you have the right creed pasted to the back cover of your bible, you find yourself working with other people of faith who may view things very differently from you but you are doing the same faith-based work.
And don’t be surprised if in such work you, almost by default, end up building bridges with people of other faith traditions as well.
Lexington and Concord were great fun. They reminded me to think of each Sunday worship service asa re-enactment of what makes us who we are as followers of Christ.