We’re coming up in a few days on the second inauguration of Barack Obama. In this series of blogs, we wish to pray for him, for our congressional leaders and for our country. In 2009, I asked my readers to realize that personal transformation is connected to the need for transformation of our country. Four years later, I see that call as urgent as ever. Let’s take some time over the next few days and over the long weekend to reflect upon and to pray for the inner growth and change we need.
On July 4, 1776, the men in this image, with their families supporting them published the sacred document, the Declaration of Independence, that created this country. At its conclusion, they said:
FOR THE SUPPORT OF THIS DECLARATION WITH A FIRM RELIANCE ON THE PROTECTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE WE MUTUALLY PLEDGEOUR LIVES, OUR FORTUNES AND OUR SACRED HONOR.
Imagine the risks they undertook and the courage that they needed
to bring the ideal of freedom and equality that existed in their minds and hearts into external reality.
They had to be willing to sacrifice everything dear to them — their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. And many of them actually did lose either their lives, their fortunes or their property.
Their signatures, bound to their lives, created the United States of America.
We need to return again and again to that moment.
We need to re-birth America in our hearts in this time and place.
Many of our service men and women are compelled to serve tour after tour, sacrifice their physical and emotional lives and those of their families while the rest of us American people have been asked to sacrifice very little.
John Kennedy said:
“Ask not what your country can do for you.
Ask what you can do for your country.”
Are you willing to make your own contribution? Each of us must do our part, neighbor helping neighbor. We sink or swim together.
God of our understanding,
we thank You for the vision of our founding fathers and mothers and their courage to bring it into reality.
May each of us be willing to transform
our hate to respect for all people,
our reliance on material things to reliance on You,
our greed and selfishness to self-giving and compassion.
May we always be willing to respond to the grace You give us
to transform our lives and our country to serve the good of all.
Let the lessons of hardship that many of us now are experiencing
prompt us to turn to You, God of our understanding,
for You, are the Source of all that is good in our lives.
May all our actions show Your wisdom and love.
And now, before you go, here’s a slide show to “My Country Tis of Thee sung by a children’s choir. Click here.