America the Beautiful – Words by Katharine Lee Bates, Melody by Samuel Ward
Our beautiful country, with majestic mountains and fields of golden grain, all created by our Father God when He spoke the Universe into existance. Amazing.
July 4th stirs the patriotic spirit in most of us, as well it should. But we need to temper that respect for our country with the respect for the God who allowed us the opportunity to be a free country.
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
The ending of the first verse (above) is the one we normally think of when we sing this tribute – asking for God’s grace and brotherhood of believers from coast to coast. The end of the second verse is one with which we are not as familiar:
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
But, oh, do we need to learn it! “God mend thine every flaw.” Yes, Lord, we do ask You to mend the rifts in our country. Allow the United States to again stake claim to being a Christian country. “Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.” Lord we lament the rampant neglect of virtues. The obvious lack of self-control as our country becomes more liberal, more ‘tolerant.’
To find our ‘liberty in law’ used to get us to go to the Bible to find out what the law was. When Webster wrote the dictionary in 1828, this would be found in the first definition of the word:
The laws which enjoin the duties of piety and morality, are prescribed by God and found in the Scriptures. http://www.1828-dictionary.com
In the current version http://www.merriam-webster.com , God is left out of things: 1: a binding custom or practice of a community. To be fair, Scripture is mentioned as the law of the Old Testament. So it would seem that God is relegated to the past.
Father God, we humbly come before you, asking you to heal our land. We know that You have said “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2nd Chronicles 7:14 Father God, we need You now, as we did in days of old. Hear our cry, we pray.
Have a prayerful 4th of July,