On this first Sunday after the Fourth of July, I think it tells us something much more important about the state of our nation which turned two hundred and forty-four years old yesterday. Whether stated in the motto or slightly different in the words of Patrick Henry, to live free or die portrays the founding spirit of America. The United States of America was a land created by citizens who, after too much oppression by a King who wouldn't even hear their grievances, opted to live free or die. If they couldn't attain liberty, then they would rather have death. Not only that, but they believed in an Almighty Providence who wanted them to really be free, not just in an earthly sense. They knew that not only was freedom from oppression by a powerful authoritarian something they would not tolerate, but that being free of sin played a major part in providing real freedom. Otherwise, sin cold infect the soul and change a person into becoming a slave for those things that poisoned their heart and soul and were placed above God in terms of what they considered important. Mortal man can easily succumb to sin if not remaining strong and vigilant, and no since could be more prevalent than the power they saw abused by their King. Being a largely rural and wild land, that made natural sense. For they would need the grace of God to survive the bitter winters, the loneliness of a long dark night in semi-isolation, and fending off the beasts of the forests as they built their lives in a free land. They would also need that grace to successful withstand the force of a King who oversaw at that time the greatest military power on earth. With freedom from earthly oppression and the blessing of a Divine Providence who would break their bondage to sin, then they could really be free. New Hampshire, like all of the thirteen colonies knew that it would take hard work but with the hard work and their prayers to God they would succeed, and succeed they did.
Dear Lord, We thank you for the grace and love you gave this fair land, including beautiful but small New Hampshire, in leading our founders to the creation of the greatest experiment in self-governance on earth. Be with us as we stand to maintain our beloved land and keep us on the right track with you as our answer to all things which we must face. Amen