The following is my pastoral prayer from yesterday.
Almighty God, in whom we live and move and have our being, we give you our thanks and praise for the gifts that you graciously bestow upon us: this gift of life, which you sustain at every moment through the breath of your Spirit, this beautiful creation, this family of faith, and this gift of abundant and eternal life made available through the life, death, and resurrection of your Son Jesus. We thank you that through our baptism into Christ’s death, we too can look forward with confidence to our own future resurrection. Because you are so gracious to us, enable us, in return, to live lives marked by gratitude. Enable us to give graciously to others, following Christ’s example of love. Enable us not to think less of ourselves, but to think of ourselves less often, as we learn to put the lives of others ahead of our own.
On this Memorial Day weekend we honor the men and women in uniform who have done that to the fullest extent, placing our lives ahead of their own lives. We hold them in our hearts today. For their example of courage, selflessness, and love we give you thanks. Protect the men and women in uniform today whose lives are on the line, until their work becomes unnecessary—when swords are beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, and we shall study war no more.
Bless the pastors and staff of this church, as we lead your flock. Empower all of us who are your children to be your ministers and ambassadors. Heal the sick in our congregation. Help us always to remember the poor. We pray this in the name of the One who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.