A Prayer for Veterans

800px-Korean_War_Veterans_Memorial_-_July_2012

Korean War Veterans Memorial, photo by Agamitsudo via Wikimedia Commons

Let us pause to honor, thank, and remember all who served in the military, living or dead.

Speak the names of veterans you know, including yourself if you served in the military.⁠⁠

Jesus, we hear your words, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13, NRSV)⁠

Jesus, we are grateful for those who are like you, those who sacrifice and serve for a greater good. Strengthen all we have mentioned and thousands more who put the welfare of others ahead of their own safety.⁠

Help all military personnel to serve with honor, wisdom, and compassion. Guard them against hard-heartedness, despair, and evil. ⁠

Bring help and healing to all who still struggle in body and mind because of what they have experienced.⁠

Strengthen and bless military families, especially when they are separated one from another. Console and comfort military families, especially those who continue to grieve loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. ⁠

Surround us all with your protection. Fill us all with your grace. Lead us all with your truth and light.

Micah 4:1-4 NRSV
In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

God of All, it is your will for the nations to seek you and to know you.
It is your will for us to live together in peace, provision, and equity.

End the selfishness.
End the mistrust and misinformation.
End the violence.

Bring wholeness and hope to every system, relationship, and person broken by war.

Empower us all to pray and work for your promised peace.
Give us the courage to act and your wisdom to know what to do.

We ask this in the strong name of Jesus
Our Savior, our Lord
The Prince of Peace
Who taught us to pray…

Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer

********************
A Prayer for Veterans © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon Recording- Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, a Sermon on Courage (Romans 8)

finding-god-in-oz

Sermon Series – Finding God in Oz
The Wizard of Oz is a powerful allegory for so many of our foundational Christian beliefs. Walk with us as we Find God in Oz.

Message: Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, a Sermon on Courage
Scriptures: Romans 8:35-39
Offered 11/13/16, the Sunday after the National Election and Veterans Day at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida

It takes courage to open up Facebook. It’s still ugly following the election. I hoped it would go back to puppy videos, inspiring quotes, and pictures of my friends.

It takes courage to watch the news. Protesters remind us of our deeply divided country. We hear hate crimes are on the rise.

I just want to go to my favorite chair with my Bible and journal and pray till it goes away. I just want to stay within the walls of this beautiful, safe place- this sanctuary. That’s what God’s house should be. I just want to sit on my couch and grow my veggies and have a chai tea latte and pet my dog. I want to plug my ears and my heart because it hurts too much to see folks scared and mean. Yet, this is what happens when you become a follower of Jesus; when you ask God, “Give me a heart like yours.” It hurts because God’s heart hurts.

It takes a supernatural courage to face the hurt.

Wednesday afternoon, the day after the election, I’m walking to church and I see my friend Miguel. He’s in the 5th grade. I ask him how he is, remembering him being afraid because month’s before during the election he’d heard talk of walls and deportation. He’d thought he and his family belonged, but then he wasn’t so sure. He’s still not sure. I said, “I will fight for you. Not in a violent way. I’ll stand with you should you and your family need it.” (I really wanted what I said to be real. I wanted to be ready to be courageous.)

With complete faith and serenity on his face, Miguel said, “No matter where we are, God is with us.”

Romans 8:35-39
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Miguel knew that in Jesus’ death and resurrection evil is defeated, sin is defeated, death is defeated.

For I am convinced that neither winning nor losing elections, nor pollsters, nor pundits, nor spin, nor lies, nor discrimination, nor prejudice, nor bullying, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Last week we talked about living in the age of loneliness and the essential of friendship, especially spiritual friends. What if, as followers of Jesus, we claimed this as the age of courage? Courage in the face of evil and courage to face evil.

In the Wizard of OZ, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion have courage in the face of evil; courage when the fight comes to them. Courage when the angry orchard attacks them. Courage when the flying monkeys start carrying off their friends. They also have the courage to face evil, to go to the fight, to go to the wicked witch’s fortress to rescue their friends.

I want to be like Miguel- courageous and confident in Jesus’ victory. Courage in the face of evil and courage to face evil alongside him. I want to be with Miguel because he’s my friend and brother in Jesus Christ.

God to give me a courageous heart to stand with Miguel and with
– peaceful Muslim-Americans fearing for their well being
– persons of color fearing the rise of white supremacy
– gay and lesbian persons fearing loss of their rights
– veterans needing easier access to benefits
– women and sexual assault victims fearing they won’t be heard or believed
– lots of people fearing loss of insurance and basic needs

brene-brown-courage-comfort

We’re going to hurt. Will we be hurting for something worthwhile?

islamophobia-bully-advocate-cartoon

Renewal of Baptismal Vows
On behalf of the whole Church, I ask you:
1. Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?
2. Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
3. Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace,
and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the Church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?

Psalm 31:23-24
Love the LORD, all you his saints.
The LORD preserves the faithful,
but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD.

*****************
I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

sermon © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Prayer for Veterans Day

veterans-day

READER ONE:
Today we pause to commemorate Veterans Day. It is set aside to honor, thank, and remember all who served in the military, living or dead.

READER TWO:
You are invited to stand as you are able and say your own name or the name of someone you know who served as active duty military, as a reservist, or in the National Guard.

Pause for Response

Please lay a hand of blessing and support on those who are standing.

Jesus we hear your words, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NRSV)

VOICE ONE:
Jesus, we are grateful for those who are like you, those who are willing to sacrifice and to serve. Strengthen the men and women mentioned here today and thousands more who put the welfare of others ahead of their own safety.

Help all military personnel to serve with honor, wisdom, and compassion. Guard them from hard heartedness, despair, and evil. Bring help and healing to all who still struggle in body and mind because of what they have experienced.

Strengthen and bless military families, especially when they are separated one from another. Console and comfort military families, especially those who continue to grieve loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. Surround them, and all of us, with your protection, your grace, and your peace.

We ask this in your strong and holy name Jesus, for you are our Savior, our Lord, The Resurrection and the Life, The Prince of Peace.

All Sing Let There Be Peace on Earth

*************
Prayer for Veterans Day © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayer Litany for Veterans Day – Version 2

Korean War Veterans Memorial, photo by Agamitsudo via Wikimedia Commons

Version One of the Prayer Litany for Veterans Day concludes with congregational singing. Version Two concludes with a congregational prayer and the Lord’s Prayer.

Prayer Litany for Veterans Day – Version 2
VOICE ONE:
We gather this Veterans Day with persons all over our nation to remember those who make great sacrifices and to pray for God’s promised peace.

You are invited to stand as you are able and say your own name or the name of someone you know who is currently serving as active duty military or as a reservist.
Pause as persons respond.

You are invited to stand if you are a family member of someone who is currently serving. Pause as persons respond.

Please lay a hand of blessing and support on those who are standing.

VOICE TWO:
Jesus we hear your words, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NRSV)

Almighty God, we are grateful for those who are willing to sacrifice and to serve. Strengthen the men and women mentioned here today and all who risk their lives to protect others. Help all military personnel to serve with honor, wisdom, and compassion. Guard them from hard heartedness, despair, and evil. Strengthen and bless their families, especially when they are separated one from another. Surround them with your protection, your grace, and your peace.

VOICE ONE:
You may be seated.

Now let us remember those who have served in the past: those who are living, those who have died, and especially those who have died while serving.  Please stand as you are able and speak their names. Pause as persons respond.

You are invited to stand if you are a family member of someone who has served in the past. Pause as persons respond.

Please lay a hand of blessing and support on those who are standing.

VOICE TWO:
Merciful God, we recognize these and thousands more who put the welfare of others ahead of their own safety. We are grateful and humbled by their actions. Bless them. Bring help and healing to all who still struggle in body and mind because of what they have experienced. Strengthen and comfort the family members as well, especially those who continue to grieve loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.

VOICE ONE:
You may be seated.

Hear these words of promise and hope from the prophet Micah (Micah 4:1-4 NRSV)
In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

ALL:
God of Love, it is your will for the nations to seek you and to know you.
It is your will for us live together in peace, provision and equity.

End the selfishness.
End the mistrust and misinformation.
End the violence.

Bring wholeness and hope to every system, relationship and person broken by war.

Show us where we can join you in your great work of peace.
Give us courage to act and your wisdom to know what to do.

We ask this in the strong name of Jesus
Our Savior, our Lord
The Prince of Peace
Who taught us to pray…

Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer

**************

Prayer Litany for Veteran’s Day © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Click Here for a thoughtful and powerful prayer by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled Veterans Day

For more information on the art and the use of this prayer in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Prayer Litany for Veterans Day – Version 1

Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery, photo by dbking via Wikimedia Commons

Version One of the Prayer Litany for Veterans Day concludes with congregational singing. Version Two concludes with a congregational prayer and the Lord’s Prayer.

Prayer Litany for Veterans Day
VOICE ONE:
We gather this Veterans Day with persons all over our nation to remember those who make great sacrifices and to pray for God’s promised peace.

You are invited to stand as you are able and say your own name or the name of someone you know who is currently serving as active duty military or as a reservist.
Pause as persons respond.

You are invited to stand if you are a family member of someone who is currently serving. Pause as persons respond.

Please lay a hand of blessing and support on those who are standing.

VOICE TWO:
Jesus we hear your words, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NRSV)

Almighty God, we are grateful for those who are willing to sacrifice and to serve. Strengthen the men and women mentioned here today and all who risk their lives to protect others. Help all military personnel to serve with honor, wisdom, and compassion. Guard them against hard-heartedness, despair, and evil. Strengthen and bless their families, especially when they are separated one from another. Surround them with your protection, your grace, and your peace.

VOICE ONE:
You may be seated.

Now let us remember those who have served in the past: those who are living, those who have died, and especially those who have died while serving.  Please stand as you are able and speak their names. Pause as persons respond.

You are invited to stand if you are a family member of someone who has served in the past. Pause as persons respond.

Please lay a hand of blessing and support on those who are standing.

VOICE TWO:
Merciful God, we recognize these and thousands more who put the welfare of others ahead of their own safety. We are grateful and humbled by their actions. Bless them. Bring help and healing to all who still struggle in body and mind because of what they have experienced. Strengthen and comfort the family members as well, especially those who continue to grieve loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.

VOICE ONE:
You may be seated.

Hear these words of promise and hope from the prophet Micah (Micah 4:1-4 NRSV)
In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

VOICE TWO:
God of Love, it is your will for the nations to seek you and to know you. It is your will for us to live together in peace, provision, and equity. End the selfishness. End the mistrust and misinformation. End the violence. Bring wholeness and hope to every system, relationship, and person broken by war.

All stand and sing one of the suggested songs or another song of your choosing.

  • Let There be Peace on Earth (United Methodist Hymnal #431)
  • O-So-So (The Faith We Sing, #2232)
  • They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love (The Faith We Sing #2223)
  • God of the Ages (United Methodist Hymnal #698)

Conclude with passing the peace to one another

**************

Prayer Litany for Veteran’s Day © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Click Here for a thoughtful and powerful prayer by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled Veterans Day

For more information on the art and the use of this prayer in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.