Take a moment to refresh, refocus, and refine your faith.
Father, today we reflect on the examples of those who willingly laid down their lives for others – those who raced into the heat of catastrophic danger to save the lives of strangers. We remember those heroes’ families and friends who daily carry the weight of their loss. We remember those whose lives were spared and now deal with survivors’ guilt and trauma. You, Jesus, know intimately exactly what they all feel as you too lived a life of survival, loss, and sacrifice. May your presence be felt palpably today. May your Holy Spirit blanket the American people with a sense of reverence and hope. May we be a nation who follows your courageous example of rising above forces of evil with faith, gratitude, and resoluteness in creating beauty out of ashes. Amen.
. . . and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.