The words slip so quickly off the tongue, “God Bless America.” It is a song that is sung during this time of year when we celebrate our independence. It is sung at patriotic gatherings and often closes our Eucharistic celebrations during this season of the year. It is important to recognize our country and give thanks for the many blessings we share by living here.
I have been bothered, however, when I hear the song because it seems that we are asking God to bless only us. Actually, by using the term America we should be including Central and South America as well. We do not think in this way. We think of our own independence and I guess that is natural.
During this month of July, we also remember that fifty years ago, we landed on the moon. One of the most impressive results of that trip to the moon was the beautiful photo taken of the world. It takes our breath away. Perhaps we need to realize that God is creator of all. God in God’s goodness created a world that is filled with many people of different races and religions.
In the first creation story in the book of Genesis, we hear repeated the words, “God saw how good it was.” (Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-4.) In the second creation story in Genesis, we hear that God formed a human out of clay and breathed into his nostrils his own breath. (Genesis 2:7). From these Scripture passages we know that all of creation is good. God blesses the entire world and from the second creation story we know that all humans bear the very breath of God. We limit God’s love and power if we only ask blessing upon our little part of the world. If anything we need to ask for the wisdom of God to make the entire world a better place filled with the love as expressed by his son, Jesus Christ.