In light of the upcoming national elections, I will be looking at our nation’s roots in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first permanent white settlement in Philadelphia was planted in the 1640s by the Swedes. The oldest church in Pennsylvania is Old Swedes’, formerly a Swedish Lutheran congregation. It is now an Episcopal congregation called Gloria Dei.
Isaiah 48:17-18 (NKJV)
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.
Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
“O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day. (Daniel 9:4-7, adapted)
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
“O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. . . .
Are there any of Your laws that we in the church in America, including the Episcopal Church, have not broken? We have followed false gods, made false vows, misused Your name, forsaken the Sabbath, dishonored our parents, condoned abortion, committed adultery, accepted fornication, broken covenants, stolen, lied, and coveted. We have harbored unforgiveness and hatred in our hearts. We have not tithed. We have held slaves. We have been indifferent to the poor. We have engaged in usury. We have sued our fellow Christians in court. We have changed the covenant of marriage. We have not submitted to the authority of Your Holy Word. Lord, have mercy, for the church in America is an offense.
O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolations of the United States of America; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your children in the US who are called by the name of Your Son, Christ Jesus.”(Daniel 9:8-10,18-19, adapted)
Gloria Dei! To God be the glory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Amen.