Memorial Day Invocation - Troy, Michigan - 2019
It is Memorial Day. We may spend the day grilling burgers or hot dogs, playing games, and enjoying time away from daily life. It is easy to forget why the day is set aside. I have had the privilege in recent years of offering prayers at the Memorial Day observance for the city of Troy, where I live. I seek to bring a balance between remembering those who have died in service to the nation, as well as those persons whose lives have been irreparably altered by their service. I did not serve in the military, nor have I had a family member who perished in such service. So, I do not know the fullness of such sacrifices. Nevertheless, I understand the importance of honoring lives lost and lifting up families who have experienced loss. As I was reminded at the observance, we should not forget those who remain Missing in Action. That is not part of the prayer, though I did add it into my benediction at the end of the observance. May this prayer, offered in a public setting, serve as a word of encouragement and honor, even as we pursue the call to peace.
God of Peace and Compassion,
We come together as a community to honor the memories of women and men who have laid down their lives in the service to the nation. We call to mind and heart their lives so that they might not be forgotten as time passes.
We gather to lift up the families of the fallen. May they find solace, healing, and encouragement in this act of remembrance.
We gather to remember all those whose service to country and community has left them with injuries, disabilities, mental distress, or loss of faith. May they find healing of body, mind, and spirit.
Together with these persons living and dead whom we have noted, we also lift up and remember all our loved ones who have died. We remember husbands, wives, children, parents, and friends whose absence is keenly felt. May we find comfort in calling to mind their legacies.
On this Memorial Day, we lift up all who grieve, asking that may find reassurance in your comforting presence.
Even as we remember all those who have given of themselves in service to country, even to the point of death, we also pray that peace may one day be fully experienced. We pray that the day will soon come when Isaiah’s vision will be fulfilled so that the nations “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”