This weekend is a nice long weekend to enjoy some time away. I pray that you will have a safe and joyful celebration of the 4th of July.
Yet, let us not forget why we have this long weekend, remembering that our Church has set aside this day as an official Feast in our calendar. Take a moment to reflect upon what the 4th of July means to you, and take some time to pray for our nation as well. I am particularly fond of the Collect and Lessons printed in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and commend them to you for Independence Day.
O ETERNAL God, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Epistle. Deuteronomy x. 17.
THE Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: he doth execute the judg-ment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.
The Gospel. St. Matthew v. 43.
JESUS said, Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
May God bless each of you!