“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior” 1 Timothy 2:1-3
“The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.” Daniel 2:44
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
The living out of our Christian lives in this world is often full of tension. For us as Americans celebrating our Independence Day, we both simultaneously love the place where God has us while recognizing that this is not our first love nor our final home. We are called to be patriots of our country who seek to carry forward in us the good our fathers have done. At the same time, we are first called to be members of another kingdom which has already come in the man Jesus Christ. This kingdom, as Daniel and the rest of scripture tells us, will overcome all other Kingdoms and will bring true freedom, liberty, peace, and justice.
As patriots who are first and finally members of another kingdom, we must not blindly accept that this country we live in has always been right nor is it always moving towards the kingdom of God. Therefore, “with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right,” we are called to be a faithful presence in our nation carrying with us and witnessing to the Kingdom of Christ. Most importantly, we pray for our nation. As +Dave preached on Sunday, our greatest place of influence is on our knees, so we pray continually that in us and around us the aroma of Christ and His Kingdom may permeate our community and country.
We pray and give thanks for the good gifts of liberty this country has at its best worked, fought, and bled for over its history. We pray to our risen Lord with the hearts of true patriots that the good our fathers’ have done may be carried forward in us, and for the good they have left undone, the wrongs they have committed, we pray that we may dedicate ourselves to right them in our own time as “the great task remaining before us.” We pray that there might be “liberty and justice for all” in this land. We pray that over all and in all the peace of Christ reigns. And this Sunday as we do every Sunday, we pray for our country when we say together: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. King Jesus, Thy will be done, Thy kingdom come here in our nation and heal our divisions and desolations that we might know Your peace in our land.
 Abraham Lincoln, “Second Inaugural Address,” March 4, 1865  Abraham Lincoln, “The Gettysburg Address,” November 19, 1863