A Prayer for a Class Reunion

I was asked to offer the “invocation” at the 50th Class Reunion of my high school the other night. I’ve never cared much for the word “invocation” in worship services, or community meetings for that matter. I suppose it means that we are invoking God’s presence or blessing. I figure we are asking for what we have already received. So, instead of asking the already Present One to be one present with us, I prefer a prayer that acknowledges the occasion and offers thanks.

Oh, and I also like thinking through my “public” words, and writing them down, as opposed to the off-the-cuff-Spirit-led-winging-it prayers that we must offer when there’s no advanced notice. When I do have some lead time, I can approach this privilege thoughtfully, and, of course, prayerfully.

So, with classmates from 1962 gathered at tables at the Sons of Italy hall in Endicott, NY, this is the prayer I prayed:

God of love

Creator of every moment of joy-filled friendship,

of each sign of grace, each spark of hope, all wonders and every warm-hearted gesture;

here we are, old and growing older friends,

sharing remembrances and the news of our years.

We remember with gratitude

being touched by the friends whose lives are no longer earthbound.

In the midst of this present moment of celebration and fellowship,

we affirm the value of every breath you offer us,

every heartbeat, every step we take,

every dream to which you still call  us,

every lesson life continues to teach us,

and every opportunity to speak and act with loving-kindness.

Now we thank you for the food we share around these tables,

and for the labor of all those who harvested, prepared, and serve it.

Bless this reunion meal with your presence,

and keep us all always in your peace.