Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

On the eleventh day of the eleventh year at the eleventh hour – the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front – World War 1, and today is the 90th anniversary.

The date was declared a national holiday in many nations to remember the 20 million who perished.

After Word War 2, it was changed to Veterans’ Day in the United States and to Day of Remembrance in the British Commonwealth. In many parts of the world, people pause for a two-minute period of silence at 11:00 AM.

At 11:00 AM this morning, I invite you to take a moment for prayer:

Eternal God, whose love is our peace, whose mercy is our hope, I remember the 20 million who perished in the fateful days of World War 1, and I gratefully remember when peace was declared and war was no more, though only for a season.

O LORD our God, my heart is distressed, because we are a warring race, easily taking up arms against one another, convinced that peace can be won through might. But war and rumors of war plague our world, and in this moment as I pray, soldiers and civilians are dying in gunfire and explosion, others maimed for life all around this lovely blue planet – and the sorrows grow deeper.

Help me, O LORD to be a person of faith and peace. To refrain from all expressions of violence and ill-will. To embody peace in my own life; to apologize and to forgive quickly, rising above dark thoughts. To be of good cheer and to lift up struggling souls. To stand with the oppressed and the excluded. To pray constantly for peace and to work hard for justice.

I pray for the leaders of the world, and I pray that women and men of faith will boldly bear witness to the tasks of peace.

Help me to stand with Jesus first of all, to lift up before my world the larger vision of the peaceable kingdom, when the lion shall lay down with the lamb. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!

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