Happy July 4th! It’s Independence Day. It is our yearly opportunity to pause and remember the founding of this great nation, the courage and the foresight of our forefathers and mothers who braved the risks and endured the sacrifices, all so that future generations might live free.
Today, we seem to be caught up in a time where our values are in question, our unity threatened. I thought that today might be a good opportunity to be reminded of the words that spawned the birth of this great democracy.
As we celebrate Independence Day, let us resolve to do our part to bring peace and stability to our communities and our nation. May we hold fast to our faith, letting it guide our words as well as our actions. May we cling to the founding principles of this great democracy. Let us not forget the lessons of the past, but may those lessons inform our present choices. Let us do all that is in our power to live in unity and love with our neighbors. May we stand out as a beacon of light in this present darkness. May our God lead us and bless us in the days to come. God Bless America, land that I love.
Let’s take a moment to recall the words of the Declaration of Independence ratified on July 4, 1776:
“Declaration of Independence
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”*
Will you join me in the Pledge of Allegiance?
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
John 13:34-35 – NLT
O Lord, we thank You for the privilege to live in this great nation. We are so grateful for our freedoms, so grateful for your bountiful blessings on this land. O Lord, lead us forward that we might love as you would have us love, that we might pursue peace and harmony with our neighbors, that we might choose the right and good path that leads to light. Forgive us our trespasses and help us forgive one another. Shine Your light and lead us forward, that others may know that we are Christians by our love.
In the Holy Name of Jesus, we pray,
*Declaration Of Independence (excerpted from Wikipedia)