As an American and a Pennsylvanian, I come before the Lord in humble thanks for planting my feet and growing me tall in a land where all people, for a short time in history, were welcomed and befriended, treated fairly and offered the opportunity to live and worship God freely, in brotherly love and affection.
As good things are opposed, so was The Holy Experiment, a liberally governed, non-violent community dreamed and drafted by William Penn, where all people could live free of persecution and unfair practices, doing unto others as Jesus taught.
Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love and the first capitol of our state and nation, was named appropriately by Penn as he envisioned a city that would exist to promote equality, peace and prosperity among all people.
From the beginning, Penn promoted peace with the native Lenape, determining to purchase land instead of stealing it, and establish good will among "brothers" as noted in this address to Native Americans at Schackamaxon in 1682:
The Great Spirit who made me and you, who rules the heavens and the earth, and who knows the innermost thoughts of man, knows that I and my friends have a hearty desire to live in peace and friendship with you, and to serve you to the utmost of our power.
It is not our custom to use hostile weapons against our fellow creatures, for which reason we have come unarmed. Our object is not to do injury, and thus provoke the Great Spirit, but to do good.
We meet on the broad pathway of good faith and good will; no advantage shall be taken on either side, but all shall be openness and love.
I will not call you children--for parents sometimes chide their children too severely; nor brothers only--for brothers differ. The friendship between me and you I will not compare to a chain; for that the rains might rust, or the falling tree might break.
We are the same as if one man's body were to be divided into two parts, we are all one flesh and blood.
Unfortunately, the experiment failed. Penn fell to ill health, and greedy men moved in with lust in their hearts and war on their hands. Pennsylvania became a land soaked in blood as The Friends resigned their positions of authority and opened a door for evil motives to flourish.
Yet a seed of hope had been planted in our Keystone State, and still lies dormant, waiting to spring back to life...multiplied.
Today the future of our nation hangs in the balance, teetering on scales of injustice, and leaning in the way of destruction. According to William Penn, our government cannot be good when given over to politicians with self-centered motives. And when men are not governed by God, they will be ruled by tyrants.
Sadly, here we are.
But I am reminded, as followers of Christ our authority lies in a higher power. We are seated with Him at the right hand of the Father, sojourners here--ambassadors of His kingdom.
My heart grieves for what could have been, but isn't...yet. So I pray and intercede, with hope in God's grace and mercy, that somehow He will bring to life the seed of this beautiful land where I live, and which was planted by one brave soul, persecuted and opposed, who sought the heart of God for his fellow man.
May The Holy Experiment be resurrected!
Father, I give you Pennsylvania, her rolling hills and fertile farmlands, tree-covered mountains and sandy lake beaches, her coal mines and river-beds and hard-rock quarries, her meandering streams, fresh-water lakes and sweet-water springs, her beauty and bounty in all things nature and wild-life.
I give you all people who call this soil, beloved and blood-bathed, Home. I pray for the remnant here who seeks your forgiveness and your hand in government and every mountain of authority. May our hearts burn for You. May we yearn and learn to walk in Your ways. And as we turn to you, our Maker, Creator, Sustainer--may the nation so go with us--for your glory and honor and praise!
Father restore Your kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven. Begin with me. Change my heart to see as You see, and enable me to love my brother. Today I choose to pray and give thanks for all people, just as William Penn did centuries ago, and as Paul encouraged Timothy:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. ~ 1 Timothy 2: 1-4Father, thank you for Pennsylvania--for all people. Your will be done. Amen!
I join every Monday with Ann Voskamp and the community of gratitude-givers in appreciating God's graces. Click on the button below to read other grace lists....
Click to read more about my Journey of Gratitude.
Photo Credit: flickr - Nicholas_T and Vic15.
Scripture take from: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. As taken from Bible Gateway.