With the weekend violence and death in Chicago, and with unrest throughout the country, let us pray for our nation. I love the song America the Beautiful.
Yesterday I sent out a quick email to members of the church inviting them to join me in worship online where we would be "sining" America the Beautiful as a Prayer for our Country at the conclusion of worship. I meant to say "singing", but it looks like "sinning". Perhaps this was a freudian typo or a divine mistake.
Can we sin while singing a patriotic song? Perhaps we can. Here's a couple examples of the sin:
If we use it to promote our own form of politics over another's political position.
If we use it to justify hatred or bigotry.
If we use it to promote pride without an accompanying humility.
I invite you to sing AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL with me. Let's sing it as a prayer, asking for peace, comfort, and healing. Let us go to our knees and pray to God that all our "success be nobleness, and every gain divine!"
I like the original lyrics of the second verse by author Katharine Lee Bates. They sound to me like a call to go to our knees to pray for our country.
O beautiful for pilgrim feet Whose stern, impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God shed His grace on thee Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought By pilgrim foot and knee!