Independence Day (July 4)
Independence Day can be tricky to navigate since, as Christians, our primary allegiance is to our Sovereign God first and foremost. As instructed by scripture (I Timothy 2:1-3), we pray for our leaders and are good citizens of our country insofar as its policies and practices cohere with the Reign of Christ. When nations abuse their God-given power, however, we are to call them to accountability to the Reign of God as preached by Christ. Many people died to insure that we have the freedom to do this in our sanctuaries, too, and we do not want to minimize the sacrifices that have enabled our freedom, but the primary sacrifice we honor is that of Jesus Christ.
Here is liturgy for an Independence Day service that blends the tune of patriotic music with prayers that “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” A sermon is provided for help with homiletic ideas, though it is just an example of a past sermon, not an authorized mandate (as though that would be possible with Presbyterians!)
We are to be good citizens of our land and pray for our leaders. You may find prayers for our national life from the Book of Common Worship helpful.
Find guidance for your questions about flags and other patriotic symbols in the sanctuary.