Each time I hear America, the Beautiful I am moved to recall the wonders and blessings of our country. The fabric of our country has been woven through the centuries with the strength and faith of her people. The courage of early settlers, the ingenuity of inventors, and the sacrifices of heroes in battle all contribute to the tapestry. Each verse of the song encourages us to pray for our nation. Katharine Lee Bates, the author of this patriotic hymn, wrote the text in 1893 while teaching in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She felt deeply about its message:
“We must match the greatness of our country with the goodness of personal godly living. If only we could couple the daring of the Pilgrims with the moral teaching of Moses, we would have something in this country that no one could ever take from us.” (from Amazing Grace, 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories, Kenneth Osbeck.)
America the Beautiful
“O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,for purple mountain majesties about the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.
O beautiful for pilgrim feet, whose stern, impassioned stress, a thoroughfare for freedom beat across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years, thine alabaster cities gleam–undimmed by human tears! America! God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.”
Americans are blessed with a rich heritage of faith and freedom. As we celebrate Independence Day, will you take a moment to pray for our country?