Prayers for the Nation

Fourth of July

By The Rev. Elizabeth Rechter

ladylibertytorch_webI am looking forward to this Sunday when St. Mary’s will offer prayers and give thanks for the country we live in.

As part of the liturgy we will hear a ‘Contemporary Epistle’, which is a reading that can be considered a sacred text but not part of the canon of the Bible. Using a contemporary epistle in liturgy is a statement of faith that God continues to speak to us through the words and works of our own day. This Sunday we will hear as the Second Lesson Emma Lazarus’s poem ‘The New Colossus” which is the poem that is mounted on the Statue of Liberty.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I contacted both readers scheduled for Sunday’s second reading to give them the “heads-up” about the change in the reading.  At the 10:30am service Barbara Van Gaasbeek will read this lesson. Barbara let me know that July 11th she will be attending her service of US citizenship. We are lucky to have Barbara’s light shining brightly in our country. Congratulations to her and to us!

I hope to see you Sunday.