A Weekly Reflection, Sunday, July 2, 2017
By: Bob Hetherington
In the collect for Independence Day, July 4, we pray these words: “Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace.”
In the secular splendor of July 4th, hot dogs, and barbecue, it is easy to overlook the gift of a new beginning which God has given us.
In this time of divisive political rhetoric it is important to honor the freedom each of us enjoys to speak his or her mind. It is also important to be civil in our conversation and to look for common ground with others using the values of righteousness and peace as benchmarks.
It is important to remember that freedom is not free. Over the years our military has stood tall to protect the liberties we enjoy as a free and open society. I am proud of my son, Alex, who was a career Marine. He was a helicopter pilot who served both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, we remember those in the military who gave the last full measure of their lives to defend our national values.
The grace of God has given us this great land. We must never take the gift for granted. We must work so all people in our country can participate in the democratic process, especially the poor and the marginalized.
This July 4th our country is 241 years old. In the past we have faced many challenges to our national values. Many more await us because the process of nation building is always a work in process. It will take effort from all of us to move our country forward and to discover a new consensus. This July 4th in the midst of our national concerns, let us pause and thank God for the rich legacy which has been passed down to us from 1776.