Here’s the invocation I offered tonight at the 9/11 Commemoration Service to an interfaith group meeting at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno. Note, I was asked by the director of the center to pray specifically as a Christian and not minimize my theological/spiritual convictions.
we call upon you tonight as memories of September 11, 2001
weigh heavily on our hearts.
We recall our horror and shock
when buildings tumbled
and planes fell
and people perished.
We remember our fear and anger
our confusion and despair,
the sense of vulnerability and insecurity
that’s been with us ever since.
The world has changed,
and we have too.
But today, we come,
resolved to be people of faith,
taught by our sacred texts,
comforted by your presence,
instructed by your Wisdom,
given hope by the friendship we share
despite our differences,
and committed to work together
as people of peace,
working for the reconciliation of the world,
to you and to each other.
Come among us now,
awaken us to your presence within us,
drive fear and suspicion far from us–
for they are not the fruit of your Spirit.
Instead, open us to the power of your love,
that we may love you with all our hearts and souls
and minds and strength,
and to love each other,
for we are all made to be
“partakers of your divine nature” (2 Peter 1.4)
So, may we turn our grief into action
for the sake of your love for us and for all your world.
We ask this of you whom we call by many names,
you, who have revealed in Jesus–
who lay down his life rather than take up arms–
what it means to live a life pleasing and honorable to you
who call us to love one another.