Monday, May 25, 2015
Memorial Day Invocation - Pawling, NY
In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
We gather this day in solemn remembrance, in gracious thanksgiving, and in boundless love for those men and women who have shown us the greatest possible love in laying down their lives in selfless sacrifice for us, and for our children, and for our children’s children, and for the unique and sacred rights and freedoms we are blessed to enjoy in this great nation God has blessed us with, the United States of America.
Our honored dead live on for us as icons of the most virtuous of ideals: courage, bravery, selflessness, service, compassion, mercy, and love. They live on as icons for us, for, through their lives, their deeds, and their sacrificial deaths, we see the greatness God created mankind to be, a greatness that is the backbone of this great nation which they died to preserve: service above self; neighbor serving neighbor; giving of what they themselves had received. They were the hands, heart, mouth, and voice of God, carrying out their God-given vocations, their callings, in this world, in selfless, sacrificial service.
Thus, we honor them best with our lives, our words, and our deeds in selfless, sacrificial service to our neighbor, to our community, to our state and nation, and to the ends of the earth. However, this does not mean that you must travel overseas to battle oppressive and murderous regimes and to rebuild infrastructures and homes, but you honor them simply by blooming where you are planted, by serving where you live and where you work and where you play. This is your vocation. This is your calling.
They sacrificed themselves for you, and for your freedom to be you. Yes, you are that special. Therefore, do not squander your freedom, for it was bought with a price, and do not take your freedom for granted, for there are countless who will quickly steal it away from you or swindle you out of it. Truly, those who will not consider the cost of the freedom they enjoy will surely lose it.
And so, today, in solemn remembrance, thanksgiving, and love we consider freedom’s cost. It is a priceless and precious cost – a cost so many of our sons and daughters continue to pay even today. We remember. And, we are thankful. And, we love our honored dead who demonstrated the greatest love possible for us by laying down their lives in selfless, sacrificial service. God bless and keep our honored dead in our hearts, and in our minds, and in our selfless service of others. And, especially, God bless and keep our honored dead in His gracious and merciful care and peace until we stand beside them in His Blessed Country.
In the + Name of Jesus. Amen.