Today's Lectionary Text
To the leader. A Song. A Psalm.
Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
Come and see what God has done:
Bless our God, O peoples,
The fact that this Psalm is one of the selected texts for the 4th of July is a great reminder to me of God’s work through the lectionary. On the United States of America’s highest holy day, this text is an important reminder of the true story that we live in as Christians.
Independence Day is a celebration of the American story. It is a day in which we are encouraged to remember the savior figures named Washington, Jefferson and Franklin, among others, who set us free from the oppression of foreign overlords. As we remember that story, we often sing songs that worship the American flag or our military power. Even though we may never use the word explicitly, American patriotism often takes on the characteristics of a religion, complete with its own mythology and liturgy.
This Psalm, then, is an important reminder for us to keep our patriotism in its proper place. The story of American history is not where we get our true identity. Instead, our identity is rooted in the story of God’s actions to redeem his children. As a Christian (and particularly as a gentile Christian), I have been grafted into the great story of God saving his people from their bondage and setting them up to be a new kind of kingdom that spreads throughout the world through love and service, not military power. We must remember that our salvation comes from God, not men. And that God accomplished that salvation once and for all through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We have need of no savior other than Jesus Christ.
So, this Independence Day, may we show our appreciation of our country, but keep it in its proper place. May we remember the true story that our salvation and identity is rooted in. And may our aim continue to be to worship and serve God alone in all we do.
St. Andrews, Omaha NE
Prayer for Reflection
Lord God, thank you for your mighty works of salvation which are for the good of all creation. I pray that, in all my actions, I would worship you alone as I join in your work of spreading love and reconciliation throughout the world. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color