Katherine Lee Bates was a young college professor in 1893 when she traveled to the top of Pikes Peak. On the pinnacle of that majestic purple mountain above the fruited plain, the words of a poem began to form in her mind, and later that evening on her return to Colorado Springs, she wrote them down: “America the Beautiful.” An open-eyed view of the natural and human beauty of our great land evoked the line, “America! America! God shed His grace on thee.”
No nation in the history of mankind, save perhaps ancient Israel itself, has ever been so undeservedly blessed as ours. Our Maker has lavished His grace upon us in the form of wealth, unparalleled liberties, and unfettered access to His divine word — the Bible which freely offers us eternal life. And how, my fellow Americans, have we repaid such grace? With brotherhood from sea to shining sea? With mutual regard for one another’s souls? With respect for the moral standards of the One who has so richly blessed us? With a deep appreciation for the love and truth that He has communicated to us through His Son?
On this our national birthday, can we all just stop and think? Do we want to be remembered in history and in eternity for what we are today? Has God shed His grace in vain?
We can do better. Much better.