This weekend we pause as a nation to celebrate the 4th of July. It’s a holiday we now largely associate with food, fireworks, and maybe an extra day off. The history leading up to Independence Day was however not about any of that. It was in the simplest of terms an articulation of what the colonists felt was unfair. They articulated 27 grievances that then lead to the signing the Declaration of Independence, separation from Great Britain and the king.  Throughout history people have engaged actively in government.

Did you know that we as ELCA Lutherans also have guidance about how we engage and think about government? In fact, the Church Council of the ELCA adopted a social message on government and civic engagement just last year. The introductory paragraph reads as follows: “Lutherans care about government because it is a gift from God intended for the safety and flourishing of human life. Yet too often and in too many ways, this gift has been abused.” The message asserts what we know and challenges us to be held accountable as members of the ELCA to be responsible to make government function well. 
 
I commend this social message of our church to you for your reading this weekend. It would make for great conversation around your family campfire as well!

Join me in prayer from Luther’s Works:
I pray you, dear Father, grant us your grace that we and all others may treat each other in kindly, gentle and charitable ways, forgiving one another from the heart, bearing each other’s faults and shortcomings in a Christian and loving manner, and thus living together in true peace and concord, as the commandment teaches and requires us to do. Amen.  
LW 43, 205-6