God of all the earth, our country is celebrating its 245th anniversary today. And we who live in this nation have much to be grateful for. Thank you for all the wild places under our care – for our Parks and Forests, our wetlands and marshes, our seacoasts and mountains. Thank you for the teeming diversity of life that lives in this nation with us. For all our mammalian relatives, the bugs and snakes, the birds and reptiles, the mollusks and fish and the microorganisms, and for all the plants that support our atmosphere, breathing in as we breathe out, we give you thanks. Help us to let wild creatures be, inhabiting ecosystems supportive of them. Help us to cherish all of them, even those dangerous to us, because the earth needs their presence for health and balance. They are gorgeous and mysterious, and you love them.
We thank you for the food on our tables, grown and harvested by countless hands and hearts. We thank you for clean water. We thank you for providing us with all the things we need for life and happiness. Help us to live in harmony with others, not to hoard or pile up excess, but to share with all our neighbors. Help us to have compassion on those less fortunate than we, matching our feelings with the willingness to lend aid where we can, so that everyone experiences health and happiness.
May we open our ears and our hearts to the stories of those different from us. May we accept the great variety of human expression in this great country of ours. May we work to end oppression and marginalization. May we love and cherish all people.
Help us to exercise our civil responsibility to stand for love and for the inclusion of all people in our governance. Help us to work to preserve the democratic processes of the United States. Help us to be vigilant in protecting freedom and the right to vote for everyone.
We look to you to help us end our severe divisions and come to a deeper unity. The dream that brought this country into being is worth preserving and extending to include everyone.
We are deeply grateful for this nation on its 245th anniversary. We are deeply grateful for all who have preserved it through the centuries. Bless the families of soldiers who have fought and died for it. Bless those who have been wounded in action. Bless those whose civil disobedience has challenged our nation to stand by its promises and live by its inspirations.
May we hand the United States of America to our children a better, safer, more wonderful country even than it is today. In the name of Jesus, whose radical inclusiveness guides our conscience, and who is your Son, our Lord.