Sitting outside on a cool summer’s night; the grass is wet and cool on my bare feet. The dogs are nosing about in the lilies, and an errant bat is busy catching night insects on the wing. A shooting star flashed brightly overhead just under the elbow of the bright moon. 
In strange counterpoint, the skies are echoing to the thunder and crackle of fireworks. From where I sit, in safety, I know that my fellow Americans are celebrating with laughter and joy the independence of this nation, the fireworks but the playful, colorful reflections of much darker times. 
I am grateful for my ancestors who fought for liberty in the storied tale of their struggle for freedom from tyranny so long ago. I pray for those, who even this night, struggle for freedom in other lands, under the same moon, who’s skies thunder and crackle not in happy memory but with dreadful purpose. 
May the LORD God grant true and lasting peace to all peoples, and may the kingdom of God dawn upon us in our days. Amen.