On Independence Day, July 4, we are invited to pray and celebrate the gift of religious freedom. I commend Collects from The Book of Common Prayer for Independence Day and the Human Family for our private meditation followed by reflection among family, friends, and neighbors. Mindful of the faith that lives within us, let us approach each collect (cah-lect) with a discerning heart. Among several considerations, each involves thanksgiving for freedom and a cry for new beginnings. What do you find and hear?
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.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
On Independence Day and every day, may what we pray truly shape what we believe, and how we act in the name of Jesus. I look forward to reflecting with you along our individual and collective journeys into Christ.
– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector