Blessings to all those celebrating July 4th, the birthday of US Independence! I pray that our nation may once again rediscover the deep and lasting values on which it was founded. I hope that we as a people will open our hearts and "love those who are foreigners," for, as Deuteronomy 10:19 reminds us: "you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt" (or wherever your own ancestors came from). Mine came from Ireland and Alsace-Lorraine. My husband escaped from Germany as a child, thanks to the Children's Refugee Movement, sponsored by the Quakers in England. By the grace of God, after nine years apart, he and his parents were reunited in New York City. So our family knows something about the experience of young children being forcibly separated from their parents. And the great suffering it causes.
I sincerely hope that our nation will realize that In-dependence must necessarily involve Inter-dependence. All of our ancestors once come from somewhere else and we all have contributions to make to our nation, in all walks of life. And we all need each other's rich diversity of history, and culture, and creativity, and wisdom to do it. I pray that we remember that we have much more in common with each other than what divides us. We love our country and we want to see our children and grandchildren live and love and thrive in it. Indeed, we are all children of one loving God. And Christ himself reminds us: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."