Worship at Gloria Dei Saturdays 5:00pm, Sundays 9:00am and 10:30am

Liberty and Justice for All

As I write this week’s “Friday Followings”, we are just a couple days away from celebrating Independence Day, the 4th of July. And while our country is far from perfect… it has sins and scars in its past and in its present… we can and should give thanks to God every day for these United States of America. The democracy we enjoy, the freedoms that are ours, and the commitment to strive for the worth and dignity of all people are just a few reasons to be grateful. And we ought not take them for granted. They are worthy of our work and effort to defend.

It is certainly true that as individuals and corporately as a nation, we make mistakes, and we often fail to live up to our ideals. Yet as Christians, we fall on our knees before God, seek forgiveness, and move forward as God’s people, sharing the love of Christ, and praying for, and working toward, peace and justice for all.

I still recall with fondness my elementary school days, as every morning at the beginning of class, we would all stand, place our hands on our hearts, face the flag, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it stands. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

This pledge is a good reminder, not only that we are one nation under God, but that we are called to strive for liberty and justice for all. At a time when it seems we are defined by our differences rather than by our unity, this pledge lifts up for us as a nation that, even amidst our differences, we all are to be patriots. We strive to live out our marching orders, even if we see differing paths to get there, of each person’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This weekend in worship we will begin a six-week preaching series entitled, “Do You Believe in Miracles?” Over these weeks we will look at three miracles from the Old Testament and three miracles from the New Testament.

I believe that the founding of this nation was a miracle of sorts. And amidst the mistakes we’ve made and the goodness that has been shared around the world, God continues to say to us as a nation, “You have been blessed to be a blessing.”

Our goal at Gloria Dei is to keep front and center the proclamation and the living out of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is good news. God loves the people of all nations. The good news of the cross and resurrection is for all people. “God so loved the world…” God loves you. Your sins are forgiven. You are free. Free to be the person God has created you to be… loving God, loving neighbor, and striving for “liberty and justice for all” of God’s people.

Happy Fourth of July and may you know of God’s peace, God’s freedom, and God’s love always.
See you in worship, either in person or online. Livestream worship is Sunday at 9:00 a.m.

Pastor Tim
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