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For many of us, this week is a celebration of our country’s history, tradition, and thanksgiving. We give thanks for the liberties and opportunities we have as citizens. We remember, too, the privilege it is and importance as Americans to be representatives of our faith in Christ.
Thomas Jefferson, the primary writer of the Declaration of Independence, was one of many leaders who drafted the document with a view to our dependence and reliance on God—the God who made all things, including the people of the 13 colonies. As one writer put it:
“Jefferson, like almost all of the Founders, took for granted that a free society could not survive without virtue, and that virtue was unlikely to thrive in the absence of religious conviction. Or as Jefferson expressed the point in his book Notes on the State of Virginia: ‘Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?’ ”faithandamericanhistory.wordpress.com, June 23, 2016
Our democracy was founded to promote the freedom of faith that leads toward virtue. This freedom we enjoy as we are called together to worship this morning.
As a people living in the land of the free and the home of the brave, may we never forget the sacred liberty we have to live as Christians, declaring the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Let us declare our faith like fireworks that illuminate the evening skies on July 4th.
Lord, we ask you to bless, preserve, and guide the United States of America. Amen.
The Rev. Steven SaulAssociate Rector, Congregational Care
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