A Prayer of Remembrance -- Memorial Day 2018
I have been asked to offer a prayer of invocation for the Memorial Day observance in the city of Troy, Michigan, where I serve as pastor and as a police chaplain. I have been doing these prayers for special occasions frequently in recent years. I recognize that it is an act of civil religion. My hope is that the prayer offered will call to mind a higher calling, and that is the pursuit of peace, but also to speak of healing of heart and mind. I decided to post a picture of the Vietnam Memorial, for in its starkness calls to mind lives given in a war that we have come to believe was wrong headed. But, we shall never forget the lives of these women and men, most of whom were drafted, to serve far from home. It was not their choice to enter this war or any war. So, we remember. We honor. We also must commit ourselves to peace.
We gather together as a community in solemn remembrance of those who have died in service to country and to community. We seek to recall to memory the lives of these women and men created in your image, so that their lives will not be forgotten.
We gather to lift up the families of the fallen, those live with the loss of loved ones, asking that they would find peace and healing.
We gather to remember those persons whose service to country and community has left them injured, disabled, experiencing mental distress, and even a loss of faith. May they find healing of body and mind and spirit.
We gather to remember all our loved ones who have died, remembering husbands, wives, children, parents. May we find solace in calling to mind their legacies.
We gather to lift up all those who grieve, asking that your comforting presence will be with them.
We lift up these prayers in the hope that peace will one day prevail in our world. We look forward to time when, as the prophet Isaiah promised, the lion and lamb will lie down together in peace. Even as we honor those who have died and those whose lives have been irreparably altered because of war and violence, we ask that you give us the courage to pursue the of peace so that young women and men will no longer be put in harm’s way.