Faithlink Discussion: Independence Day
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Ephesians 1:3-10, New Revised Standard Version
I’m always amazed when, at the conclusion of a speech, a politician will say, “God bless America.” Sometimes, I think, this prayer is said in desperation; while at other times, it is clearly a declaration of what God has done to make this country “prosperous.” But, God doesn’t just bless this country.
On this Independence Day, I hope our prayer will not just be God Bless America, but God bless us ALL. I pray that our patriotism never outshines our faithfulness to God and the love which we are called, by Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, to share with a hurting and broken world. God bless us all! Let your kingdom come, O God, on earth (not just in America) as it is in heaven!
Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will that your Kingdom might be established here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer, p. 258, public domain. From www.GBOD.org/worship. Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used with permission.
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