Of wars, reconciliations, and brotherly love

Historical events can sometimes teach both moral and spiritual lessons, and help us pray about directions for the future.

Over 120 years ago, the world heard news of the end of one of the most devastating wars the United States has ever been involved in—its own civil war. Abraham Lincoln was President. The war between the states had been fought bitterly. Sometimes members of the same family fought on opposing sides. So when the war finally ended, there was much rejoicing by the victorious Union forces.

A few days after the Confederacy surrendered to the Union, President Lincoln was scheduled to speak in Washington at what was evolving into a victory celebration. At this celebration, the President did something that at first seemed surprising.

He spoke quietly for a few minutes and then asked the Union Army band to play "Dixie"—the song that had unified their Confederate opponents. Although some may have bristled to hear their enemy's anthem, Lincoln's request illustrated perfectly the character of a man who loved everyone dearly and equally without exception or qualification.

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Liberation from superstitious fear
November 29, 1993

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