Holy God, Creator of all people and all nations, it is with sorrow and apprehension we remember the tragic events that occurred on this day.
We lift to You in prayer all those who died in the Twin Towers, at the Pentagon, and on United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
We entrust them to Your loving care. Console their families, friends, and all who mourn this loss in the hope that all who trust in You find peace and rest in Your Kingdom.
We pray for those who courageously responded to provide aid and comfort to the afflicted. May their painful memories of that day be healed and transformed into strength and positive resolution.
We also pray for ourselves as we seek Your strength and guidance. We live in the aftermath of this tragedy and under the shadow of future acts of aggression; we stand in need of Your assistance.
Enable us, Dear God, to put an end to fear;
By resolving to live lives that are based on respect for one another;
By resolving to abide in a peaceful manner and never settle disagreements in our lives in a violent way;
By resolving not to fall into the trap of blaming entire ethnic groups, or religions in response to acts of hostility;
By resolving that justice, not revenge, prevail in our world.
Let us resolve that in the face of hatred, we will show love; that in times of despair, we will be voices of hope and creators of new dreams; that in time of darkness, we will be sources of light.
Let us resolve that we never regard forgiveness as weakness, but rather as a source of strength in our lives and in our world.
And, let us honor the memory of nearly 3,000 individuals who died on September 11, 2001 by resolving with Your help Almighty God, to truly live this way so You may be glorified and Your love made known to others through us.
-Bro. Darrell Burns, S. J.
Blessings to all those that survived this terrible tragedy and may we never forget it.
Lisa Beretz, LLBeretz@gmail.com
On July 4, 1776, Congress officially approved the Declaration of Independence. In response to this momentous declaration of the united colonies’ separation from Great Britain, John Adams wrote these insightful words in a letter to his wife concerning the remembrance of this day, now known as Independence Day: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
This weekend, Americans from sea to shining sea will gather family, friends, and neighbors to celebrate their liberty with cookouts and local festivities on the Fourth of July. The warmth of early summer and the sounds of children will fill the air as patriotic music pulls at our hearts. Fireworks will be painted overhead on a canvas of clear night sky. This favorite day of summer provides the opportunity for people from all backgrounds to celebrate the precious freedoms and opportunities we enjoy in this country.
And while it’s important to be with family and friends on this day, it’s also good to reflect on why we’re celebrating. Our early forebears left England for the unfamiliar shores of America mainly because they were unhappy under the tyranny of religious persecution. Since those dawning years of our country, many others have migrated for the same reason. They gave up everything for the right to freely worship God here.
Among the many freedoms our country guarantees, what we as believers particularly hold dear is the right to worship God and to read His Word, the Bible, freely. In many countries on this earth, this freedom still does not exist. Here, we are so thankful that we can spread His Word across this nation. This is something we do not take for granted; we thank God for the establishing of this country with such freedoms.
This July 4th, as we watch fireworks and wave flags in celebration, may we also pause to reflect on our nation’s heritage. As the festivities end and the last trails of smoke glide across the summer night sky, take a moment to solemnly thank God for all that our freedom allows.
May God bless all the inhabitants of America with His salvation and the full knowledge of the truth in His Word. From a Bibles for America post.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Lisa Beretz, LLBeretz@gmail.com