The American experiment is a remarkable social, political, economic, philosophical phenomenon. While other citizens from other nations across the span of history have made similar claims, the nature and character of the United States remains incredibly unique, or so it seems to those of us caught up in the experience.
Today, after two hundred and thirty years, the nation remembers and considers its uniqueness, as well as its dreams and continuing, unrealized aspirations and considerable challenges.
July 4--a day of national celebration.
Our world is shrinking. Thanks to technology, we live in a world increasingly aware both of its oneness and of its horrifying fragmentation.
Closer to home, in our national life and conversation, we are very aware of our common hopes, as well as our differences, our diversity and our divisions.
July 4, 2006 cries out for a bit of old-fashioned humility, don't you think?
We sang of this maturity of heart and soul this past Sunday in church. Voices joined in singing This Is My Song. I confess the words of this pre-World War II hymn drew tears to my eyes as I thought about our world, our nation and even our city.
Lloyd Stone penned the first two stanzas in 1933, as the United States clawed its way out of the Great Depression. His words provide an important reminder about the larger human community of which we are all apart.
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.
Happy July 4th!
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