God of peace, who created the world and all that is in it, God who is the source of every good gift, we pause today to remember that we live in a broken world. On a Memorial Day in the shadow of yet another terrible tornado, we are painfully aware that we live in a world of selfishness and pain. In our world, nations war against nations, fighting over the good creation you put in our care. We all know the pain of that war, whether we’ve served or someone we deeply love. We know the fear, the sting of absence, the pain of uncertainty. 

And many of us know the sting of loss. The pain of death. Weekends like this are particularly difficult because we come face-to-face with that loss again. Let us remember today that people all over our war-torn war know the pain we know. Let us remember that Death is our ultimate enemy, our only true nemesis. Death unites us all as people. 

Remind us today that the brokenness we see in war, in natural disasters, is a reflection of the brokenness of our own hearts. Remind us that you are the God of peace, and that you have called us all to be peacemakers. Despite our brokenness, through your son you call us all to join you in proclaiming your message of reconciliation.

Let us hope and pray and work for the day when all our soldiers, when all the world’s soldiers can lay down their arms and come home. Let us hope for the day when swords will be beaten into plowshears, when assault rifles will be made into combines. Let us hope and pray and work for peace. 

We offer these prayers to a God who knows the pain of death, and we wait anxiously for the return of your son Jesus, for his kingdom to come and your will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. We offer these prayers in his name.

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