O God of Grace and Glory, we celebrate the anniversary of our country’s independence. Help us to remember that was a beginning of a country whose desire is to be an example to the world of what it is to be responsible to one another and to lift up those without hope. Our history helps us to celebrate what we have done well and to learn from when we were not going in the right direction. Help us to be who you would have us be as a people and nation. Guide us to do what lifts people up and makes this world a better place. Give us the strength stand up for what is true and just. May we build upon the sacrifices of those who have gone before us and not be tempted by evil when it attempts to pull us from your way. All this we ask in your most Holy Name. Amen.