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An invitation to reflection on Canada Day from Anglican, Lutheran leaders

July 1, 2023

Today is Canada Day, July 1st. For some of us the day is celebrated with pride in our national identity—wearing red and white; waving the maple leaf flag and singing the national anthem. For others it is a day of very mixed emotions as that identity includes the history of residential schools, murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and the unmarked burial sites recently discovered. Canada, as a nation, has not lived into its promises in the treaties and our prosperity is built on the subjugation of others.

There is a bittersweet pain in the midst of the celebration of this day. We are grateful to live in a country that is not at war and lives with relative peace. We continue to commit ourselves to walking with the Indigenous peoples of this land to seek reconciliation and justice for the inequities and pain of the past and those that continue in the present.   

So today we invite you into a reflective remembrance of the ambiguities of our national identity.  

  • Thankful for the ways our nation has worked for justice in our land and around the world.   
  • Repentant for the pain caused by our ancestors and the continuing injustices today, particularly in relationship with the Indigenous peoples.   
  • Committed to shaping our nation in alignment with the love and justice of God for all people.   

God of all nations, on this Canada Day we confess the ways we have not lived in your ways of justice, peace, truth and reconciliation. We pray for wisdom and guidance as we seek to live into right relationships with the first peoples and all peoples of this land. Help us to be the country that you have created us to be—peaceful, generous, and just. In your loving name we pray. Amen.

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”