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Today we celebrate Independence Day, a time to pause and remember the founding of our country. Over the past 241 years, the United States of America has been a place where freedom and human flourishing are known and celebrated. I am thankful we can worship freely every Sunday, while also acknowledging the cost of that freedom in blood, sweat, and tears throughout our history.
I’m also thankful for the opportunities that many outside of our country have been given to share in our common life—for example, our Rector! My life has been enriched by numerous people who have found their way to America for the first time, including my great grandparents on both sides.
While we enjoy the hamburgers and fireworks, let us also take a moment to pray for our country.
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; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This collect is a great reminder that freedom is more than doing what you want, but instead is an opportunity to share God’s love. May we remember the words of the Apostle Paul today as we celebrate our country and freedom:
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).
The Rev. Taylor IshiiYoung Adult Ministry
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