July 6, 2014 – A View from the Rectory Window

This weekend we celebrate the Fourth of July, Independence Day. The references by our Founding Fathers, particularly of our first president George Washington, about Divine intervention and Divine Providence in the struggle for independence and the formation of our nation is unavoidable. It is amazing to study how many references in the writings of our nation’s fathers directly give credit to God for the progress our nation enjoyed at its formation and early history.

They believed that God was involved directly in the affairs of people if they invited and yielded themselves to the Divine Creator. They also believed that when faced with struggles, oppression, injustice and a lack of liberty, they would look to the Holy Scriptures and prayerfully follow God’s lead in the best way they knew how. There was a humility in the attitude of our Founding Fathers toward God and a clear knowledge of their own place in this world. Even though they understood that they had individual worth and importance, they also understood that they each contributed through their efforts and their actions to the greater good.

The Fourth of July is known as Independence Day, and rightfully so. But I wish it was known by a different term that would be equally true of the declaration made against England almost 250 years ago. The day was not only a declaration of independence, from England, but also a declaration of dependence upon God and the commitment made, under God, to each other. It was as much a day of God dependence and interdependence as it was a day of breaking from the British Empire.

My prayer this weekend is that we would return to becoming a nation of citizens and citizen politicians that are devoted in their hearts to our nation. I pray we someday return to yielding willingly and without coercion to the almighty God of our history and our future. It is very interesting that in the Bill of Rights written to set limits on what the government can and cannot do in regards to personal liberty, and in the first amendment, and the first part of the first amendment, deals with protecting freedom to worship. Our nation’s founders considered this freedom of worship the foremost liberty to be won and preserved by the shedding of blood in the war of independence.

Father Pete