July 4, 2021 – Independence Day
“From shore to shore – Let God’s praise be sung.
From mountains high to valley’s low – Let the echo of praise resound.
From the mouths of children and the prayers of the saints – Let thanksgiving abound.
For great is our God and Greatly to be praised.”
An Invocation for Independence Day
“Creator and ruler of humankind: while songs of our nation’s birth ring in our hearts, remind us to celebrate above all the oneness of the race you have created and the openness of the church you have loved, And help us, who are your church in this place, to be truly open to all your children and to pray for the coming of the day when all shall be one in him who has broken down all the walls that now divide us, even Jesus Christ, the Lord of both church and world. Amen.”
A Prayer for Independence Day
“We give you thanks, O God, for this great country, for its north and south, east and west, for its mountains and rivers, trees and forests. We give you thanks for the hopes it has, of liberty and justice for all. We give you thanks for all that it is not yet and pray for the day when the country realizes its fondest dreams of democracy and liberty and justice for all.
While racism is not our fault, it is still our responsibility. Help us understand, mighty God, that we don't have to shut down. That we don't have to stay angry. Shift us to responsibility and away from guilt.
While this country, like any country, has big problems, it has them in the service of even bigger dreams. Don't let us die to the dream so much as live to its realization. In the strong name of Jesus. Amen.”
“O God, this day we celebrate who we are and where we live. In our pride, make us also humble, for we are aware of our freedom, but also aware that sometimes our freedom and our fortune has cost others theirs.
Give us your perspective this day - not only to enjoy celebration but to know that we cannot celebrate fully until the world joins us as a community of care.
We lift to you prisoners of conscience, poverty, cruel regimes and places where freedom is just a dream.
May we always be a people who remember and work for justice as you would have us do. Amen.”
“God is. We are. In spite of our fumbles and because of God's grace, we are not daunted by the troubles of this age, nor are we fearful of what is to come. We do not bless God for our wealth, our health or for our feeble wisdom. We bless God that God is, that we are and that his promise and love shall be with us when time itself shall be no more.”