A Prayer at the Reception with Princess Margriet
Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet’s visit on May 13 brought together some themes that are important for who we are at Holland Christian Homes. With our Dutch roots, Holland Christian Homes serves as one of the places where the ongoing friendship between the Netherlands and Canada is celebrated. Since the Province of Ontario officially declared May as Dutch Heritage Month in 2011, there has been an official ceremony here where we raise the Canadian and Dutch flags and sing the national anthems of both countries. It was wonderful that the princess could be with us for this occasion this year. Just a week before her arrival we marked the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Netherlands in which Canadian and Polish soldiers played such a major role. This, along with the safe haven afforded to the Dutch royal family during the war, is where our binational friendship was formed, and the princess was glad to remark on this in her speech. But she was also here for the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Faith Manor building whose construction we hope will soon be underway. Therefore, as a Christian institution it was appropriate to bring all these matters together before God in prayer. Since only a limited number of people could be at the reception with Her Highness, I would now like to share that prayer with you.
Our gracious God and Father in Heaven, thank you for the confluence of occasions we celebrate today. It is by your mercy that there is a wonderful friendship between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Canada. This friendship was forged in the struggle, which resulted in the liberation of the Netherlands in World War II, and brought about a rich outpouring of joy and gratitude. This friendship was also highlighted by the birth of Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet in safety in Canada. Thank you that we could celebrate this friendship in the flag raising ceremony this morning. We now ask that you will bless Her Highness’s continuing efforts to nurture this friendship through her many visits to this country, as exemplified by her presence with us here today. Bless also her family, and prosper her many other efforts to encourage what is good and right.
We thank you not only for the liberation which by your grace was achieved in Europe in May of 1945, and which we celebrated recently, but also for the particular nature of that victory by which former enemies, in time, became loyal allies. We pray that you will richly bless our veterans, especially as they advance in years. Grant also that we of following generations may be good stewards of peace. Give wisdom to those who govern us. In the continuing complexities of good and evil, there is always more going on than can be managed, or even measured, by human wisdom alone. Therefore, we ask for your blessing.
We thank you also for the prospect of building a new facility for Faith Manor here at Holland Christian Homes. We are grateful for blessings enjoyed in the past at this institution and for the combination of public and faith-based private efforts, which have resulted in good things for so many people. We pray that all these efforts will result in excellent care for our seniors, along with the dignity and the honor you have commanded us to extend to them. And, if in these efforts we do sometimes come short, we ask for your forgiveness and pray for your Holy Spirit to guide us in renewed efforts. May the care that is given and the community that is built in this place be pleasing to you, our Lord and our God.
Finally, thank you above all for your great mercy toward all people. Help us to obey your instruction to be agents of that mercy in body and in spirit throughout this world. We praise you that your mercy is not only for this present life.
Through the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, you have achieved eternal salvation for us and a redeemed world where there is no sickness, sorrow or death. Make us all citizens of that kingdom we pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen.