Below is the Invocation and Benediction I delivered to the 79th BSTB on December 4, 2010 for the Army Ball.
Father in heaven. We call on You, invoking the triune God where One is called all are called (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We call on you great Creator of heaven and earth. Sovereign and Holy God you alone create, provide and sustain. Who are we Lord that you would allow us to come before you in your holy throne room? Have you simply created us and then left us? Are we here alone? Is our suffering heard? You answer and your response is “I have come in the flesh, I have eaten with you and I will bring you to me”
This season we celebrate you coming to us. We think on it and what it means. You came not as the mighty King that people expected. But as a helpless babe. The beginning of the story is wonderful but it did not end there. Your Son was born to serve not to be served. He came for the sick not for the healthy. He came to open eyes to the blind and make the lame walk all physical pictures of the spiritual reality. He wasn’t born to be a King here but he was born on earth to reign in heaven and everywhere; forever. He was born; ordained to die, that one day we would have life. His birth points us not to earthly victories but to the Cross where our sin is forever wiped away and we have heavenly victories. With your only Love nailed to a shameful tree we are redeemed and remade new. We can now be made white as snow. We were slaves and in bondage but through our repentance and trusting in the finished work of your Son we are free.
We ask first of all that you would be honored tonight. That in our celebration we would be blessed by you.
We thank you for our children. We know they are blessings from you Father of ALL children. Protect them as we are away from them. Continue to lead their hearts to you.
We thank you for our guests tonight. We ask that your blessings would be on them.
We pray for our friends who could not be here tonight, protect them and let them be comforted by you.
For one another, we pray that you would help us and teach us continually, how to love and serve one another. Enable our hearts to speak of your charity to each other. If we have brothers and sisters who are down and trodden Lord, if they are weak, or forlorn, let them be encouraged tonight in fellowship. For the bruised and tired of our family, I pray they find rest here tonight. I pray they are encouraged and loved. Let’s celebrate your love for us, by showing our love for each other.
In the authority of the one who has saved us; Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Father, thank you, for this special evening. Thank you for the food and the ceremonies and what those ceremonies represent.
Thank you for a unit that can sponsor a Military Ball where we can see our fellow soldiers honored, where we can enjoy each other’s fellowship, and where we can listen to You speak to us through the comments from our guest speaker and from our conversations with each other.
We ask for Your continued blessings for our beloved United States, all branches of her military, the US Army, Soldiers away and soldiers present and for the people here (our faithful support, without whom we could not do what we do).
Please, look over each of us and ensure we return to our homes safely this evening. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.