Independence Day. It seems we’re a nation wondering what that all means today. So where can we learn about what this day means? Historians tell us it say didn’t happen without much struggle. Political fighting, interest groups, foreign powers, war–all had a part in it. Founding our country was not as easy as we might think. But somehow all these conflicting interests came together around an ideal.
Can we remember that ideal today?
The Declaration of Independence was a statement of great ideals, but those ideals still need to be applied to some others. Have the native peoples here on this continent before us, the African peoples brought here as slaves, been treated as “created equal” with “certain unalienable rights?”
Have the poor and the immigrant been seen as equal?
Church feasts celebrate graces of God. They lift us up to aspire to great ideals and promises. We’re called today to do what church feasts do. Pray and still celebrate. But we always begin feasts with prayers for forgiveness, acknowledgement of failures, and calls for mercy: “Lord, have mercy.”
“America the Beautiful… God mend thine every flaw, and crown thy good with brotherhood, with liberty and law.”
Then, hope it can all come true, dreams that went into Independence Day.
Father of all nations and ages,
we recall the day when our country
claimed its place among the family of nations;
for what has been achieved we give you thanks,
for the work that still remains we ask your help,
and as you have called us from many peoples to be one nation, grant that, under your providence, our country may share your blessings
with all the peoples of the earth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.