The following is the Benediction I was supposed to deliver at the American Legion – Hasler Camp, Post 215 Memorial Day ceremony in the Village of Pawling, New York. Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding and the ceremony concluded without a Benediction.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the Gift of Your love poured out for us in the selfless sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. As we remember this day those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of Your Son. We thank You for those men and women who have laid down their lives in loving, selfless, sacrifice for us, for our nation, for our freedom, for our families, and for our children. They are an image, a reflection, and an extension of Your love, grace, mercy, and compassion for all people.
A life given in love is never given in vain. Help us to honor their sacrifice by cherishing the freedoms they died to preserve. Help all citizens of this great nation to sacrifice themselves in humble service to their neighbors, recognizing that all we have comes from Your gracious hand and that we are but stewards and managers of Your boundless providence.
Grant our nation humble and faithful leaders who bear the sword You give them for the good of those under their charge and make this nation, under God, a beacon of light of charity, mercy, hope, and peace for the world that those dwelling in the darkness of sin and death may know true Peace in the Light of Your love, mercy, and forgiveness.
Hold our service men and women in Your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and presence as they stand in the gap for our protection. We also remember the families of our troops, and ask for Your unique blessings to fill their homes and Your peace, provision and strength to fill their lives. May the members of our armed forces be filled with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord's mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.
May the Peace of God that passes all understanding, that peace which the world can neither give nor take away, abide with us to bless us, this day, and even forever more.
In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.