Students sitting outside Bockman
Previous Day

Saturday, July 04, 2015

O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain,
for purple mountain majesties
above the fruited plain:
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for heroes proved
in liberating strife,
who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life:
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
till all success be nobleness,
and ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
that sees beyond the years
thine alabaster cities gleam,
undimmed by human tears:
America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
confirm thy soul in self-control,
thy liberty in law.

A blessed Independence Day to you!

On this day that we celebrate our nation's freedom, and honor those who fought for our freedom. We also remember that our work as children of God is not done. For as much as this hymn paints a vivid picture of the diverse beauty and abundant harvests of our nation, it also points to loss, injustice and ongoing work yet to be done. Each stanza begins by describing the tremendous beauty of America, but then concludes by asking for God's blessing and aid in the ongoing work of our country.

Today, take a pause in your celebrations to give thanks to God for the beauty and diversity of our nation. Take a pause to ask God to guide you and all of us to strive for freedom, justice and equality for all people. Take a pause to seek God's guidance as you strive to follow Christ and share the love of God with all.

Father, thank you for the many rich blessings you have bestowed upon me. Help me to share my blessings with others. Guide me as I seek to share your love. Amen.

Jennifer Beil
St. Timothy Lutheran Church,
Portland, Ore.
Master of Divinity , 2008

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.