Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth

Freedom - that's what we celebrate on the Fourth of July. We will leave in a few minutes to go to my mom's house. Every Fourth there is a bicycle parade that ends at her house. People decorate bicycles in red, white and blue and then line up behind the fire engines and parade through town. At the little Episcopal Church, St. Peter's by the Sea, someone will ring the bell the whole time the parade goes by. There are no floats, just a bunch of kids and adults on bikes. And then they end at our house for cool aid, cookies and water ice. It is a brief wonderful moment where people, both neighbors and strangers celebrate together that special gift of what it means to be an American - freedom. As quickly and wonderfully as it comes together it just as quickly disperses, as people go about celebrating with their families and friends. We are all blessed, and this gift of being free is pretty wonderful.

Freedom is easily corrupted though, and some would like to be free themselves while holding others hostage. We are truly not free until we are all free. My prayer this Fourth is that we can each, in our own towns and villages, make room and space so that our neighbors and strangers can be free. Free to worship and celebrate and be the people God created them to be. Free to not live in shame or in hiding - free to wake up every morning and not fear terror, abuse or the threats of war.

I give thanks to God for the day and for the people of this land. And I ask God to give me the strength to be an advocate for others - for their freedom and their thriving. I will only feel free when I know I can be of service to others.

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