July 1, 2012

Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor...

“And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
These words end the Declaration of Independence. The men signing that document in 1776 were taking a giant risk and a giant leap of faith. They believed whole-heartedly that God was calling them into rebellion against England and to form a new nation. They were united in that belief and together pledged themselves to moving forward, knowing that it might claim their lives and their fortunes.
With ‘a firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence’ the founders of the United States of America abandoned all that was secure in their lives and stepped out. On this week when we celebrate the 236th anniversary of that action, let us give thanks for the courage and vision of these men.
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.
As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, we Christians are called to abandon all our dreams to God and step out in faith when God calls us to ministry and life. Christians are not solitary workers though. Like the nation’s founders, we ‘mutually pledge’ to support one another in the Baptismal Covenant when we assent to the question: “will you do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” We also agree together when we recite the creed: “We believe in God…”
If you don’t have a community that you can have fellowship with, I suggest you seek out one. Find two or three (or more) to gather with for study, worship, and fellowship because our Lord promises “when 2 or 3 are gathered, I am in the midst of them.”
(We also offer prayers for all those affected by the tragic wildfires across the West and esp. for those who have lost their homes.)

Next time we’ll start looking at the Parable of the Growing Seed (Mark 4:26-29).

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