By the time you receive this issue of the Scribe, you will probably be preparing to
celebrate the Fourth of July. So I thought I’d pass along a prayer that you might want to
make a part of your celebration. The words come mostly from one of my favorite authors.
Added to his words are words that come from an inscription on the Statue of Liberty as
well as from the Sermon on the Mount. Together I think they make for a prayer of
thanksgiving and hope that we all of us could pray, perhaps even should pray.
O Lord our God, from the sprawling, opulent South
of the stark red earth and lazy skies,
to the lonely beauty of New England
with its prim certainty of neat white houses and stone fences,
to the sweep of the Middle West
with little towns set amidst vast and rich prairies,
to the majestic mountains of the West
and the brash glitter of the brawling coast,
this great nation stretches,
awesome and free.
And we give you thanks, O Lord!
We thank you for all the blessings
you have bestowed upon this land.
We thank you for delivering us again and again
from all our great follies
and in your mercy
giving us tomorrows that need not have been.
We thank you for those who struggled to establish our freedom,
those who sacrificed to preserve it,
and those who continue to hold before us
the vision of what we are at our best —
a nation that gives a home and hope to
the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning
to be free,
the wretched and tempest-tost seeking
a safe shore;
a land offering opportunity and
a people who will not rest until there’s justice for all.
And we pray that you would continue to grace us with
the faith that overcomes the fear
that keeps us from being our best — the fear
that fuels prejudice and drives goodness
and kindness and generosity
of spirit from us;
the wisdom to find compassionate solutions
to the problems that so challenge and
the courage to stand with the least and the lost,
the meek and the merciful,
with all who are so dear to you,
and to stand against evil in all its forms;
the will to heal all that divides us as a people,
to end hunger in this land of plenty,
to cherish the land and preserve
and the strength of purpose
to be a beacon
of light and hope
to the world.
God be with you,