Below is the invocation I gave at the Patriot’s Day Memorial Ceremony in Lockport, Illinois. May we continue to persevere and bring God’s love into this world each and every day of our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We stand here on a gray and overcast day having to squint even to see the sun. Yet, it almost seems to be a fitting. Father as we stand in remembrance today our minds think back to another day of gray in our history. A day where we had to squint to see the sun through billows of smoke and uncertainty. All of us remember where we were that day and none of us will forget the feeling of anger, pain, and sorrow that welled up in our spirits.
Father God we stand here surrounded by heroes remembering heroes, loved ones remembering the fallen, and the living still effected by this day when gray covered our worlds. We look to a flag that represents our freedom and ask “How could this happen in a country built on freedom.”
But God amongst the doubt and confusion one thing still remains and that is You. You are the God of yesterday, today, and forever. You are the God of all things and Creator of all things and even in the midst of our gray You still reign. We are promised of this truth in Your word where in Psalm 121 we are assured of Your strength.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
So although Father we remember today a moment where time seemed to stand still and evil appeared to be winning. We are reminded that You are still on Your throne and You have won the ultimate victory. On Calvary’s hill your Son Jesus defeated death and tore the gray clouds of evil apart forever. So we as Your people vow to not stay stagnate in fear, but to move forward in confidence knowing You are with us.
The proof of that promise is in the breath that we breathe. That even as we stand under gray clouds, we breath in the breath of life that proves we are still alive. That we can still make a difference. That we can still bring Your love into this world.
May that promise rest on us now as we remember the dark day of September 11, 2001, but may we also remember that September 12, 2014 is there for the taking and by Your strength we can make a difference as we stand in Your power.
Father we ask that You meet us now and remain with us forever. For it is in the matchless name of Jesus that we find our strength and in whom we pray.