a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: after the parade

God of our salvation…
we grasp our coveted, once-a-year, palm branches…
we sing and shout, “Hosanna!”…
we proclaim in those moments
that we want you to save us…
but we’re not always sure
you understand what we mean. 

You have come to vanquish the status quo…
but we have been comfortable in that life.
You have come to turn the world upside down…
but we’re afraid you will shake things up
more than we intended.
You have come to draw us closer
to your vision for creation…
but, at times, we think you may be
just a little too impassioned. 

We like the palm branches.
We even like the hymns.
But we just want to go home after the parade. 

Forgive our lack of vision…
forgive our lukewarm passion…
and inspire us to step off the curb
and to start marching at your side… 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas (Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church; Lexington, KY)

Confession: we don’t want to understand

Holy God, we like to claim that your way is mysterious and we are uncertain how to follow. We confess that we don’t want to understand the fast that you choose. You call us to loose the bonds of injustice, to let prisoners free, to break every yoke, to bring the homeless into our house, to feed our neighbours and pray for our enemies. We make it sound like a difficult metaphor so we don’t have to act on your word, because we don’t like to be uncomfortable. Forgive our apathy, our wilful ignorance, our false modesty, and our unexamined privilege. Create in us a clean heart, and lead us into a Holy Lent…and beyond, to abundant life for all your creation. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: we resist

God who pushes and pulls, coaxing and sending, we confess to you that we often resist your movement, wishing you would let us go our own way. If we’re completely honest, we give in to temptation more often than we resist. We confess that we have preferred to gorge ourselves on things other than your word; we have longed for power over others; we have bargained with your promise and begged for minor miracles. Forgive us, Holy One. Show us your way in the wilderness. Guide us to your path, and teach us to follow. We pray in the name of Christ, Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: on our terms

We name you Christ…and in the next breath we explain what we mean by that.
We offer our hearts and lives…on our terms.
We make sure you know when we think you’ve gone wrong.
We are full of human thoughts and there’s little room for God’s thoughts.
Forgive us again. Correct us.
Turn us around, and teach us your ways,
and lead us as we let go of all that we have grasped so tightly,
that we may pick up the cross and follow you.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: conditional faith

Voice 1: Show us a sign!
Voice 2: Make us understand!
Voice 3: If you can explain, we will believe!
All: We confess, Holy One, that often our faith is conditional. We trust you when we can see where you are going, and we believe your word when it makes sense with what we already know. The rest of the time…our voices can often be heard in the midst of the crowd demanding that you meet our expectations. Forgive us. Help us to trust where we have not seen. Teach us your way, foolish step by foolish step, until we find ourselves living your wisdom. Amen


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: we don’t understand grace

Your generous creativity is beyond all our imagining, O God! You breathe the breath of life into us, your Spirit flows free, bringing new life in every place, your grace falls like rain on all creation. And yet we confess that often we would prefer a system of earning our way into your favour. We understand transactions and fairness, we don’t understand grace. We want to be able to say we deserve your love and forgiveness, to be proud of our accomplishments in following your call. But you insist there is nothing to be earned, nothing to be bought, nothing to be proud of. Instead you call us your accomplishment, you create and re-create us in your image, preparing for us a way of life that we are not sure how to follow. Forgive us, generous God, for thinking your ways are like our ways. Open our hearts to know the truth of your grace, and to live in your redeemed creation. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: come with us

Lord of the Way, you said that where you are, your servants will be. We confess that we would prefer you to come with us, rather than for us to go with you. Too often you are found in places we would rather avoid, with people we are afraid of, doing things we wish you wouldn’t. Forgive our inward vision, and call us to your side once again. Give us courage to follow where you lead, to bring others along on the journey, and to live as people filled with your grace, your hope, your truth, your life. We pray in the name of the One who was obedient even to the cross, and beyond to the empty tomb, Jesus the Christ. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: we want to see you, but

We want to see you, Jesus…but sometimes we are too afraid to ask for help.
We want to see you…but we aren’t sure if those people should be allowed to come too.
We want to see you…but we don’t love the way you talk about sacrifice and death, or about outcasts and sinners.
We want to see you…but we also want to know how it’ll go first.
Forgive us.
Fill us
with courage to step forward and seek,
with openness to those around us,
with vision to see your big picture,
with trust to follow you.
In Christ’s name, and for his sake. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: we manipulate grace

Invitation to Tell the Truth About Ourselves
One: Jesus said, “those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.” Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, we admit before God and one another our faults and failings. Let us pray.

Prayer of Confession (we tell the truth)
All: You know, O God, how often we set our mind on human things instead of divine things. You know the ways we try to force your Spirit to fit our agenda, to manipulate your grace for our own ends. You know that we are prone to thinking of our desires long before we ever consider yours. We confess these things to you, praying that saying them out loud might make us aware of our own brokenness, so that we can also be more aware of your ever-present grace. Startle us with your truth and your love. Set our minds and hearts on you, and lead us on your way. Amen. ~silence~

Assurance of Forgiveness
One: The grace of God is always doing a new thing—whether we are prepared, or worthy, or not. Let yourself live and believe this good news:
All: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Thanks be to God! Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: sin is a hard word

Lord, sin is a hard word. I try so hard.
I do not do the good I want to do.

Is sin unavoidable, so that the world can see your grace?
I do not do the good I mean to do.

The broken frustrations of the world surround me and are within me.
I seek your will, forgetting that it has found me.

I long to feel a flood of forgiveness, to be transfigured, to be different- somehow, someway.
But you made me, you know me, you love me.

Forgive my sins- what I do, what I avoid.
Forgive my sins- what I say that should go unsaid, what I hold back that should be shouted.

Forgive my sins- the successes I credit to myself, forgetting your Spirit.
Forgive my sins- the shortcomings I see in others, forgetting my own.

Forgive us. Renew us. Transfigure us.

Silence for reflection

The God of creation does not begin work only to abandon it. The good thing that God has begun in you will continue until the day of Christ’s return and, then, eternally. Hear and receive in your hearts and minds to forgiveness of all your sins, consolation for all your griefs, affirmation of your gifts, and hope for your tomorrows. All of this is true and possible, through Jesus Christ- our Savior and Lord!


Submitted by Rev. Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage AK