God of hope and freedom and liberty, on this Memorial Day weekend, and as citizens of this great country, and as people of faith, we’re asked to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many, over so many years, in so many wars, and sometimes with so little recognition.
We’re asked to think about and consider what those sacrifices have meant – not only for our own freedom, but for what’s truly important in life. We’re grateful today, more grateful than we can say, for women and men who have given their lives for something larger than themselves, for a higher purpose, for a cause that’s still worth fighting for today.
We thank you that we can enjoy the benefits of their sacrifice, and we pray that we will never take what we have for granted.
On this weekend, we also remember the people of Moore, Oklahoma, for the families who lost loved ones, for the parents of the children who lost their lives, for the people who lost homes and possessions and pets and everything they spent a lifetime accumulating.
We’re grateful too for those who have responded, for those who are there now, for those who will work to put things back together, even though all the best relief work will never make things as they were. We’re grateful to live in a culture where there is compassion for those in need, where we still come to the aid of our neighbor, where a tragedy for some becomes a tragedy for all.
Closer to home, we pray for our own community, for our own church, and especially for our own church members who face illness, and surgery, and recovery, and sometimes uncertain futures. We pray for healing. We pray for healing in body, mind, and spirit. We pray for healing that allows us to come together and learn from the past and move forward stronger and more determined than ever.
As we leave here today, may we know that we have been in your presence – and that in that life-giving presence we have been changed. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.