Here is my humble offering for this weekend’s Memorial Day observance. You might recognize a passage from Isaiah 2:4-5 towards the end of the prayer. I have not formatted this as a responsive reading, but that could be easily done. Blessings to you in your life and worship this week. (If you are looking for material related to Pentecost, see my post from last year.)
God of Life,
We mourn the culture of death in our country:
where our entertainment glorifies–even enacts–violence,
where over three thousand people sit on death row,
where even Christian preachers suggest brutalizing those they disapprove of,
where drone strikes are considered necessary for national security.
God of Justice,
We decry the unjust ways of our nation’s military:
where the poor are lured into danger by promises of a better life,
where a few at the top make money off of the deaths of others,
where the very best virtues of many young men and women are warped into violence,
where so many who have served and sacrificed are discarded and forgotten.
God of Comfort,
We pray for your presence to surround all affected by warfare:
be with military personnel on every side–protect their bodies and their souls,
be with all who are caught in the midst of violence–citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other places,
be with wives, husbands, children, and parents of those in harm’s way,
be with those who grieve the death of someone they dearly love.
God of Hope,
We give thanks for the peacemakers in our midst:
for those in government who speak against policies of violence,
for those in organizations that work for peace, that engage in service around the world,
for those who write and speak and act towards life and love and justice and peace,
for those who teach our children their own worth and the worth of all people.
God of Power,
Bring forth the reality of your promise:
that we will beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks;
that nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will we train for war anymore.
In the meantime, God, let us walk in your light,
that we might see
the small turnings,
the next steps toward life,
the small acts of peace that catch in the light and shine.