I was invited to offer the invocation for Penn State’s 35th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Banquet. I thought I would share my prayer with you here.
Lord and Father of all,
We come together tonight to commemorate and celebrate the life of your servant Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Your child, you called him to be a prophet, to remind us that we were created in your image and that we are to care for one another. Like Jeremiah, Dr. King called us to reject the oppression of those whom our society has marginalized and left defenseless. Like Amos, he called us to break the damming walls of our “solemn assemblies,” our false pieties, and instead to allow justice and righteousness to flow. Like Moses, he led his people in a wilderness time to the edge of the Promised Land. Like Moses, he too did not enter this world’s Promised Land, but he was able to see it before you called him home. And like all your prophets, he entered into our history in a time of trouble and turmoil to speak of your peace, reconciliation, and redemption, only to be rejected by so many.
Lord, just as Dr. King was like Moses, we too are often like the Israelites. Although we are blessed to walk in the Promised Land we are fractious and fight amongst ourselves. We forget that this land must be guarded, tilled, and tended; we become complacent. But we are thankful that you continue to raise up prophets and leaders who remind us of our calling as children of God.
We also remember this night those in Haiti. May you bring healing, recovery, and restoration. Here them Lord as they cry with the psalmist
Rise up, come to our help
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!
Do not forget them Lord, do not forsake them.
Bless now this food to our use and us to your service and keep us ever mindful of the needs of others.