- Birds tweeting when I walk out the back door in the morning.
- A really good cup of coffee.
- A country that leads the world in healing medicine, disaster relief, and aid to poor people.
- A long, soaking rain that makes everything grow like topsy.
- A place where my family feels safe out walking in the evening.
- A dog bounding across the yard chasing a bunny.
- A country where my kids can pursue their lifelong dreams to the fullest.
- A nation where we are free to gather, as we do today, to worship as we please.
- A place where I can speak my mind – about politics, values, even religion! - without fear of reprisal.
America means all these things to me. America is a beautiful, wonderful place, a great gift from God. Our first response must be pure gratitude – giving thanks for it all – great and small….
America has been so blessed by God that we have great responsibilities to make this country all it can be, all it should be: “One nation, under God, with freedom and justice for all.” Of course the United States is not perfect. Many injustices persist despite our stated goals. People are poor here, despite the wealth and plenty of the nation. We still struggle for equality: to see Christ in every person. We do not always love our neighbors as Jesus calls us to do.
And so we have work to do. The very richness of this land, the beauty and variety of its peoples from every corner of the globe, urge us to greater justice, greater equality, greater opportunity for each and every person. This is what our founders fought for. This is God’s call to us.
I hope you enjoy our worship for Independence Day, with special music, patriotic hymns, and a spirit of joy and gladness in God’s gift of this land. America is indeed exceptional, and of us to whom much has been given, much is expected by God! JBM