A prayer for July 4th from Rev. Sandhya Jha:
God of all nations and ours,
As we ask the long-posed question, “does that star-spangled banner yet wave/
o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”, help us make this land free
free from hatred of religious minorities
free from exploitation of laborers
free from damage to the land and water so long cared for by our indigenous brothers and sisters
free from contempt for immigrants who invest in this nation’s thriving
free from the new slavery of the prison system that tears apart so many Black and Brown families.
And help us be brave
brave in the face of religious and racial violence;
brave in contrast to the cowardice that would pit us against each other based on race or class;
brave in order to care for refugees of all sorts as our scripture calls us to
brave in order to do your will even when doing so is unpopular.
After all, our founding fathers were not very popular with the British.
God, even as we celebrate the blessings of this nation, help us be humble enough to know that you really are the God of all nations, and that you do not honor human-made boundaries but honor the divinity and dignity of each person whom you made in your own image. May we remember that as we live as Americans in this complex global landscape.
And in so doing, may we truly do you honor as we seek truly and earnestly to be the land where all are free and the home where your followers are brave in good doing.