The prayer for our nation in the Book of Common Prayer asks God for the gift of zeal for justice. As we celebrate Independence Day this coming week along with a landmark anniversary in civil rights marked by the Stonewall rebellion, we must continue to pray that we might have zeal for justice -- that we might have a passion for the work of God's Kingdom, the vision of a land of freedom and peace, where all have a place and can live as they are created to be. The vision of the Kingdom of God is not about tolerance; it's about needing one another, needing the gifts we bring to the table in our great and multi-hued diversity. That's the vision of the prophets and the vision of Jesus as he imagined the great banquet where we all feast at the welcome table together as beloved children of God.
This coming week as we welcome summer in that most American of holidays, the Fourth of July, let’s remember that freedom is a responsibility, justice is hard work, and the Gospel calls us to envision a new community beyond our nation: one that includes all the peoples of the earth as one human family. Pray the prayer for our nation on Independence Day and remember that we are not really independent at all. We rely on one another and on our Creator to form us into that beloved community that is the dream of God.
Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the
earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace:
Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the
strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in
accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our
Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one
God, for ever and ever. Amen.