Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

The Church's national observance of Independence Day was 1st proposed for our Book of Common Prayer what year? 1928? 1778? 1786?
When did it make it into the BCP? 1786? 1928? 1979?

(See Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2003. P. 290.) Here are some of the facts: Proposed for Prayer Book 1786.
Deleted by Gen. Convention 1789.
 Made it into 1928 BCP revision!
American Revolution supporter Bishop William White worked to remove it from proposed 1786 book because its observance was required & most of our clergy had remained loyal to the British crown.
Reading White's stance reminds me of the
 grace St. Paul expresses in 1 Cor. 8:1-13, 

when he says to refrain from doing what

would be a stumbling block for fellow 

Believers for whom Jesus died.

On July 4th we can celebrate our freedom to worship God in this country & its many other freedoms, gifts & opportunities, because of God's love expressed through the courage, strength, dedication, & sacrifice of many.
Our Episcopal Church colors of red, white & blue can remind us of the human blood Jesus sacrifices for us, dying on the cross to save us. Red is like the fiery tongues on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes to the Church in a new way.
White can remind us of God's holiness, the Holy Trinity, in whose image we are made, & our celebrating our new relationship with God that Jesus' sacrifice makes possible.
 Blue is the color of the heavens that surround this blue earth, our island home, set in motion by God's love that fills God's Creation, of which we are a part & for which we are entrusted with special work of stewardship.
I pray that our love may overflow more & more with knowledge & full insight to help us determine what is best.
 Philippians 1:9 (paraphrase)
Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2003. New York: Church Publishing. 2003.

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