Happy Independence Day, American blog-o-sphere! I want to wish the USA a happy 236th birthday. Not a day goes by when I'm not happy to live in America. So I'd like to thank all of the soldiers, politicians, and common American people who have worked so hard to make this country great. I'd also like to thank all of the faithful pastors out there (including my own) who focused on Christ last Sunday, and not on America. Every Sunday before the 4th of July, pastors all around this great country fall into the temptation to get patriotic from the pulpit. While these servants of Christ are almost always well-meaning, and while patriotism is objectively a good thing, bringing the 4th of July celebration into church is not appropriate. The Church exceeds all borders and ethnicities, and therefore sermons and church services need to reflect that fact. So while God Bless America is a wonderful song, let's not sing it in church. Let's sing songs that Christians around the World can join together in singing. Let's praise the One who died and rose again for the forgiveness of our many sins, including the sin of losing sight of Christ during the n th Sunday after Pentecost. So thank you, pastors who preached sermons focused on the Gospel reading last Sunday instead of on the American flag. Thank you for fulfilling your vocations marvelously by the Grace of God through preaching the Word and administering the Sacraments to us. Because even on Independence Day, all Christians need a little break from national pride and a large dose of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen for us. God bless you pastors, and God bless this country.