July 4: Independence Day


Then they sent to him (Jesus) some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.” And they brought one. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” Jesus said to them, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed.

St. Mark 12.13-17

A Hymn

Not alone for mighty empire

Stretching far o’er land and sea, Not alone for bounteous harvests Do we praise you gratefully. Standing in the living present, Memory and hope between, Lord, we would with deep thanksgiving Praise you most for things unseen.

Not for battleship and fortress, Not for conquests of the sword, But for conquests of the spirit We give thanks to you, O Lord; For the heritage of freedom, For the home, the church, the school, For the open door to justice In a land the people rule.

For the armies of the faithful, Those who passed and left no name; For the glory that illumines Patriot lives of deathless fame; For our prophets and apostles, Loyal to the living Word; For the strong and free in spirit We give thanks to you, O Lord.

God of justice, save the people From the clash of race and creed; From the strife of class and faction, Make our nation free indeed. Keep its faith in simple justice Strong as when its life began, Till it find complete fruition By the guiding of your hand.

Lutheran Book of Worship, Hymn #437 Geneva Text: William P. Merrill, 1867-1954 Tune: George H. Day, 1883-1966


Lord of the nations, guide our people by your Spirit to go forward in justice, peace and freedom. Give us what outward prosperity may be your will, but above all things give us faith in you, that our nation may bring glory to your name and blessings to all peoples; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

— Pastor Stickley