Here is the benediction I offered today at the 9/11 memorial service for the Asheville Fire Department. I offer it here as a prayer for all first responders that lay their lives on the line every single day.

May the peace of God go with you,    
   wherever He may send you.
May you remember well on this sacred day
   and rededicate yourself to a life of service.
May you present your bodies as tools in the Master’s hands:

May God bless your feet to move swiftly
              your hands to touch gently
              your mind to think clearly
              your heart to love deeply

May God bless your eyes to see the truth
   and your ears to hear the call to serve.

May God grant you courage in the face of danger
                  comfort in the face of grief
                  compassion in the face of suffering.

May you always remember the humanity of those you serve
   and never become callous or jaded
   to the value of each individual life,
   created in God’s image.

May you grow daily in the bond of family
     with your fellow firefighters
   and show up each day with the deep conviction
     that you serve something much larger than yourself.

May God grant you strength 
     to lay down your life each and every day
   the insanity needed 
     to run in as all others are running out
   and the calm assurance that you will never run in alone.

In the name of the Creator, Christ, and Comforter 
we ask these things.
Amen.
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