~* AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL *~
Katharine Lee Bates, 1859-1929

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Proverbs 14:34

Each time we join together in singing the vividly descriptive lines of "America the Beautiful", we are moved emotionally as we contemplate the wonders of our great nation. The scenic beauties, the courage of the early settlers, and the sacrifices of heroes in battle all stir us to avid appreciation of our country's heritage. But this national hymn does more than inspire us to praise our great nation. It also encourages us to PRAY, for revival among all Americans, for our leadership at every level to learn and choose God's way. Each stanza of this patriotic hymn is completed with an earnest plea for God's grace, God's healing, and His refining until we as a people achieve true brotherhood, law-abiding control, and nobility through godliness.

The author felt deeply about the message of her patriotic hymn:
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 teachings of Moses, we would have something in this country that no one could ever take from us.

As we consider this hymn, we are reminded that America owes her birth to the living, vital, and dynamic faith in God that our founding fathers demonstrated. There is a real need today for a return to such a national dependence upon God as well as a renewed appreciation for our wonderful land.

Katherine Bates, who was a teacher and head of the English department at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, wrote the original lines of this text in 1893, while teaching summer school in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the Rocky Mountains and Pike's Peak had especially impressed her.



O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above 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 heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self the country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!



*For Today*: Isaiah 32:17; Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13-17

Give thanks to God for the noble heritage and the many beauties of our great country He has entrusted to us. Raise your voice in praise to God, praying for His moving on our hearts.

Music url: The Prairie Frontier Midi Collection

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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