On December 5, 2008, The Honorable Joe L. Webster delivered the invocation at the dedication and open house for the new home of the North Carolina Office of Administration Hearings in Raleigh. The following is his invocation.
Heavenly Father, we know the scripture says that in all of our ways we should acknowledge you and that you will direct our paths. (Prov. 3:6) And so on this special occasion of the Dedication of this new home of the Office of Administration Hearings of the State of North Carolina, we first give honor to You, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
God, we thank You for all that you have given us - life, health, comfort, food, raiment, for the sunshine and the rain, and even the cloudy days in our lives. We thank you for the leaders of this State and of the Office of Administrative Hearings whose vision helped make today's occasion possible.
As we dedicate this brick and mortar, we pray that it is symbolic of more than the evidence of the completion of a larger barn to store up our goods; our law books and court files and other things that we already have too much of, or a place to make us look good, feel comfortable and boast about. But we recognize that we cannot begin anew in this building without also being transformed ourselves. And so we pray for forgiveness for the leaders of this state, the Governor, legislators, the Judges, the advocates and those who are visitors. We ask for forgiveness because all have committed reversible error and fall short of the ideal of perfection in all that we do and say, and fall short of the glory of God. And so today as we dedicate this building, we also pray for guidance, for wisdom, for understanding, for reconciliation among the races, different cultures, religions, and genders. We pray for patience, for courage, for humility, stamina and more grace as we begin anew in this place.
We pray for those who are conspicuously absent from this ceremony - the less fortunate, the homeless, the severely disabled, the mentally ill, the blind, the little children, the ones who are unemployed in these uncertain and difficult times, the ones who couldn't afford to be here even they wanted to be here. We pray for those who will come into this building who have been traditionally denied equal access to justice, the ones who cannot afford a lawyer, those for whom this building was constructed and without whom there would be no need for a new building. We pray that you will pour out your abundant blessings upon them.
God, and so as we begin anew during this historic moment, we pray for a double portion of teaching. Teach us God what it means to be fair to all sides of a dispute, even handed, unbiased, and unashamedly committed to the cause of justice. And so when our time at this place has past, we pray that all will be able to say that within these walls and throughout the State of North Carolina wherever Administrative Law Judges and other Judges preside, that in the words of the Prophet Amos, (5:24) that justice rolled down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream. A-men