Have you ever thought about what inspires you in life? What motivates you to work hard, give more, to better one ’s self? (Allow congregation to speak) For many of us it is our children or families that are strong motivators. We work hard in the hopes that our children will one day have a better life. My mother’s side of the family came to America in the late 1800s early 1900s with just this goal in mind. My grandfather’s father, Joseph Savitski, came to the US after the death of his first wife and child to disease in Poland. He was part of a small peasant village. But at that point Poland was under the rule of Russia and Joseph was going to be compelled to join the Russian military. There was little in the way of opportunity for Joseph to provide the life he yearned for, for himself, a wife, and his future children.
Once here, he moved to Shenandoah, Pennsylvania where he became a coal miner. While there he met and married his second wife and my great grandmother. But they wanted more for their children. They saw the effects of the coal on others in town and didn’t want their children to be exposed to the black lung as they had been. So they sought out land where they could have a farm and start a family which brought them to Connecticut. They had 9 children, 8 of which made it to adulthood. And each generation since has worked to ensure that their children would have more opportunities than the last. My grandparent’s goal was to have their children graduate from high school and all 8 of them accomplished this. My parent’s goal was to have their children be able to attend college and all 3 of us have and 2 of us have attained graduate degrees. Most people consider this to be the American Dream and it started with those first adventurers to cross the Atlantic and those first leaders who braved the British Military, the strongest in the world, to ensure that their children would never be ruled by foreign powers and so they would have the opportunity to shape their own future for good or bad.
I would say that our Psalms reading for this morning has to do with much of this same notion. This Psalm is very special. It was written by the poet to express his joy and praise to God for having survived a near death illness. And it was almost immediately re-appropriated for use by the nation to express their gratitude for their new beginnings after their return from Diaspora. It expresses a nation’s joy at new opportunities for their generation as well as future generations’ option to create a better tomorrow, a better future for their children with the good will of God in the lead.
Sometimes we forget about the good opportunities we have had in life with the grace of God, we forget to credit God for his blessings that have spurred us forward in life giving us the courage, the motivation, and the abilities to work towards these ends, to work for more possibilities for future generations. The Psalmist wanted others to benefit from his experiences with illness and healing at the might of God so that they might have a better life themselves. In our gospel reading Vera shared with us this morning, it says, “After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come”.They were sent to these Gentile towns to try and do what our parents and f0refathers and foremothers of America worked to do. They were trying to share with the world the glory of God through the miracles of Christ so that future generations may not have such spiritual anguish. So people’s lives might be better through their faith.
So too this legacy lives on in each of us. We are called to brave the challenges that confront of us and to work for a better tomorrow for all peoples. We are called help others feel the blessings and grace of Christ in their every day lives. We are called to have our actions match the faith we speak, the faith we live in our private lives. We are called to help keep the unique beauty of our country, our nation that allows for people to work bringing to life the blessings of God in the lives of their children and grandchildren.
This is our challenge in a world where the news is overwhelmed with violence in our communities and in our world. This is our challenges in an atmosphere where we hear hateful demeaning speeches from both sides of the political isle. Our challenge as citizens and as believers is to keep God first in our prayers and in our actions and to live life as the American Dream calls to us. But also to live life as God calls us to allowing for each generation of people to feel as if they can make a difference in their world, just as we have felt. So go forth into this Fourth of July weekend and think about how we can make the work of our lives be the living praise to the glory of God that will inspire future generations to do the same.
 Luke 10: 1, RSV.
(Based on Psalm 30 and Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20)