Happy 4th of July

Greetings, Friends,

In a time when many fear for the future of democracy, it is hard to pray better than what our Prayer Book offers for July 4th: Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel appointed for Independence Day is a further admonition toward the kind of civic culture we need to for democracy to work: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

In this Gospel, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5.43-48)

Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.

Happy 4th of July.

Nick +