Remembering the Fourth of July, again and again
This past Sunday pastors all over our nation preached a sermon that somehow related to the birthday of our great nation. Some honored the veterans for their service; others talked about how much God blesses America; still others gave a testimony about how we have all come together at times of distress over the 246 years since we became the United States of America.
Each year on July 4, we celebrate in a grand way what it means to be an American. There are displays of fireworks, and red-white-and-blue decorations in every community. Families get together for barbecues and to enjoy the holiday. It is a grand day for us as we commemorate the anniversary of our country.
In the church I attend, as we closed the service with “America the Beautiful,” our pastor, Jim Garrison, noted that this hymn is a prayer. So, as I sang this familiar song, it became my prayer for America. The intensity of my prayer caused me to become emotional. I love America so very much, in spite of every flaw we as Americans possess.
Read the song with remembrance of a nation you love and cherish. Here are the words, written by Katharine Lee Bates in the 1800’s.
“O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain;
for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.
O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,
who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years
thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.”
Continue to pray for our nation, for our veterans who loved their country more than self, and for all of us Americans, with our many flaws. God bless America!
— My love to all,
• • •
“Sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth!”
— Psalm 96:1