As people of faith, we know that justice is a core value of the Kingdom of God. It calls us to live in community with one another, shapes our prayers, and reminds us of our connection to one another.
July 3, 2022
Liberty and Justice for All
Patriotic Hymn Sing
Rev. Dr. Heather W. McColl
Today we gather for a Liberty and Justice For All patriotic hymn sing paired with scripture.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13, 17-21 (The Message)
So now Israel, what do you think God expects from you? Just this: Live in his presence in holy reverence, follow the road he sets out for you, love him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you, obey the commandments and regulations of God that I’m commanding you today—live a good life.
God, your God, is the God of all gods, he’s the Master of all masters, a God immense and powerful and awesome. He doesn’t play favorites, takes no bribes, makes sure orphans and widows are treated fairly, takes loving care of foreigners by seeing that they get food and clothing. You must treat foreigners with the same loving care – remember, you were once foreigners in Egypt. Reverently respect God, your God, serve him, hold tight to him, back up your promises with the authority of his name. He’s your praise! He’s your God! He did all these tremendous, these staggering things that you saw with your own eyes.
“An American Medley”
Hand Bells by Ray and Jeanne Clark
Psalm 67 (The Message)
God, mark us with grace and blessing! Smile! The whole country will see how you work, all the godless nations see how you save. God! Let people thank and enjoy you. Let all people thank and enjoy you. Let all far-flung people become happy and shout their happiness because You judge them fair and square, you tend the far-flung peoples. God! Let people thank and enjoy you. Let all people thank and enjoy you. Earth, display your exuberance! You mark us with blessing, O God, our God. You mark us with blessing, O God. Earth’s four corners—honor him!
“God of the Ages, Whose Almighty Hand”
Psalm 82 (The Message)
God calls the judges into his courtroom, he puts all the judges in the dock. “Enough! You’ve corrupted justice long enough, you’ve let the wicked get away with murder. You’re here to defend the defenseless, to make sure that underdogs get a fair break; Your job is to stand up for the powerless, and prosecute all those who exploit them.” Ignorant judges! Head-in-the-sand judges! They haven’t a clue to what’s going on. And now everything’s falling apart, the world’s coming unglued. “I appointed you judges, each one of you, deputies of the High God, But you’ve betrayed your commission and now you’re stripped of your rank, busted.” O God, give them what they’ve got coming! You’ve got the whole world in your hands!
“This is My Song”
Psalm 72 (The Message)
Give the gift of wise rule to the king, O God, the gift of just rule to the crown prince. May he judge your people rightly, be honorable to your meek and lowly. Let the mountains give exuberant witness; shape the hills with the contours of right living. Please stand up for the poor, help the children of the needy, come down hard on the cruel tyrants. Outlast the sun, outlive the moon—age after age after age. Be rainfall on cut grass, earth-refreshing rain showers. Let righteousness burst into blossom and peace abound until the moon fades to nothing. Rule from sea to sea, from the River to the Rim.
Foes will fall on their knees before God, his enemies lick the dust. Kings remote and legendary will pay homage, kings rich and resplendent will turn over their wealth. All kings will fall down and worship, and godless nations sign up to serve him, because he rescues the poor at the first sign of need, the destitute who have run out of luck. He opens a place in his heart for the down-and-out, he restores the wretched of the earth. He frees them from tyranny and torture—when they bleed, he bleeds; when they die, he dies.
And live! Oh, let him live! Deck him out in Sheba gold. Offer prayers unceasing to him, bless him from morning to night. Fields of golden grain in the land, cresting the mountains in wild exuberance, Cornucopias of praise, praises springing from the city like grass from the earth. May he never be forgotten, his fame shine on like sunshine. May all godless people enter his circle of blessing and bless the One who blessed them. Blessed God, Israel’s God, the one and only wonder-working God!
Blessed always his blazing glory! All earth brims with his glory. Yes and Yes and Yes.
“Eternal Father, Strong to Save”
Galatians 5:13-15, 22-26 (The Message)
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified. Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
“My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”
John 8: 31-36 (The Message)
Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you. ”Surprised, they said, “But we’re descendants of Abraham. We’ve never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, ‘The truth will free you’?” Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.
“America the Beautiful”