a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: Thoughts & Prayers

God of peace…we give thanks
that you are our firm foundation
when the waves of chaos thrash around us,
causing the world to feel out of control. 

We give thanks
that you have empowered us
to speak peace into chaos,
and to take action against injustice. 

But too often, we lack motivation,
we are too afraid to challenge injustice,
or it simply is not in our own interest to act. 

So we stand with the oppressor
instead of kneeling with the oppressed…
we carry torches of anger and hatred
instead of bearing the bright light of your love…
and we offer our “thoughts and prayers”
but render them empty and vain
by our silence and inaction.

Yet, we know you desire so much more from us. 

So draw us away from our apathy…
away from our complicity…
and closer to your hope for the world… 

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

Approach and confession: idols

God of love and justice, you are alpha and omega, beginning and end…and in between you are the breath of life, the rock on which we stand and the hand that holds us fast. We come into this place, gathered as your people, listening for the voice of your Spirit, still speaking in the wilderness of our hearts. We know your commandments, we can say all the right words…and yet we confess to you that our lives are not always a demonstration of your love. We have looked for loopholes, or created reasons to follow our own way. We admit that we have trusted in other gods—gods of money, security, family, or power. We are on a first name basis with the gods of greed and jealousy, and we are loathe to turn away from the god of privilege. Our everyday actions often proclaim any number of idols, and we come now to ask your forgiveness and help. We cannot leave them behind without your strong hand to guide us in the right way. Give us once again the joy of your grace, and set us on the sure foundation of your word. It is in you, lord, that we live and move and have our being. As you forgive so freely, fill us again with the blessing of creator, redeemer, and sustainer, that we may show your glory in every word, thought, and deed. We pray in the name of Christ, whose faithfulness is our hope and our light, and who taught us to pray together…

 

Submitted by Rev Teri Peterson, Marchmont St Giles parish, Edinburgh Scotland

A prayer of confession to share on liturgylink.com

Lord, you are our guiding light.  But when your world grows dim, when tragedy strikes, we confess that we tend to retreat from faith.  We may lose our way, our vision clouded by anger or gloom.  We fall back to our former ways because we may not know any other way to respond.  Help us in our confusion.  By your Holy Spirit, gird us with your holy strength to hold fast to what you have always taught us.  So that, as the world may seem to fall apart around us, we stand strong, one Church, Your People, faithfully facing the darkness together, lit from within by your wisdom and hope.  ~silence~  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Amy Pospichal, First Presbyterian Tucumcari, New Mexico

Confession + Assurance: Hope for God’s Children

Beloved God, your hopes for us can seem far removed. How can we work for a better tomorrow when today is so difficult? How can it be that people so different from us can also be your children? You call us to serve each other in love, and we instead demand service from others. You call us heirs to your Kingdom of peace, and we act like spoiled children, throwing tantrums when we don’t get our way. Help us to see your way before us – and call us back to right relationship with you and each other. Amen.

Family of God – hear this good news: God’s mercy is boundless, and God’s love is beyond all understanding. God has already forgiven you, and is calling on you again to serve each other, to build the Kingdom, and to celebrate your ties with one another.

Praise be to God! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

Confession: Shiphrah and Puah

Scripture offers us stories of
Heroes who have been
Immoveable in their efforts to inspire
People to stand against evil in the world.
Hatred and violence are too often a
Real problem…and we must wonder:
Are we…actively or inactively…silently or loudly…
Helping to preserve the problem?

Against our deep desire to trust your vision, we often
Neglect our responsibility for one another, failing to
Do justice, live kindness, and be humble.

Prepare us for your work…
Unite us in your purpose…
And
Heal us from our indifference… 

 

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

Confession: we have been silent

God of Love and Justice,
we know your heart is breaking for us.
You taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves,
but we harbor prejudice and resentment
that leads us to violence.
You taught us that you love us all,
citizen and stranger,
no matter the color of our skin or the sound of our voice,
and yet we persist in defending the actions
of those who demean and threaten people you love.
We confess that we have been silent when we should have stood up to the signs of prejudice and selfishness.
We confess that we have excused racism as ignorance,
when we should have taught awareness and care.
We confess that we are blind to the insidious ways the habits of white supremacy infiltrate our lives, because we are afraid to discover we have been part of the problem too.
Loving God, remind us that you already forgave our sin,
and now call us to sin no more.
Replace our fear with boldness and our anxiety with conviction.
Help us be light in a world that has chosen darkness for too long.

Submitted by Rev. Lisa M López, Christ Presbyterian Church, Hanover Park, IL

Approach and Confession: complicit

Most loving and gracious God, we give you thanks for your unending faithfulness. We come into your presence with praise and with hope, for you are good, and you call us your own. You created us in your image, and you shepherd us through this life, calling us by name and leading us in your way. We confess that we, like sheep, have gone astray. We have wandered from your path, choosing to walk in shadow rather than light. We have built fences and believed they make us better neighbors, we have created requirements and believed they were yours, we have stood silent as the door was shut, we have called for peace without working for justice. Forgive us, Lord. Forgive our inadequate imaginations, for we cannot see the height and depth and breadth of your love. Forgive our closed eyes and hearts and minds, keeping the light at bay. Forgive our complicity in the systems of injustice that make the world go round. Open us to know your truth, and to live according to your word. Help us to experience the fullness of your grace, and then make us true reflections of that grace for others. Guide us once again into the abundant life that you desire for all creation. We ask in the name of the One whose love we see on the cross and in the empty tomb, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Marchmont St. Giles Parish Church, Edinburgh, Scotland

Confession: some other place

Creating and transforming God,
you call us to spread the joy of your kingdom
and live as agents of your renewal in the world.
We confess that we are content to locate your kingdom
in some other place, some other time, some other reality.
We have been unwilling to welcome your ever-present Spirit,
to strive for your justice in this world,
or to recognize the risen Christ in the face of others.
Forgive us.
Open our hearts, our minds, and our lives
to see the truth right in front of us.
Free us from our foolishness,
and teach us to live by your wisdom,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

Confession and Assurance: Chaotic Mess of Voices

Holy and Beloved God, though the world calls us in a chaotic mess of voices, your voice stands apart. Yours is the soft, still voice that speaks to our very heart of hearts. If we would pay attention to your voice, we would hear your love and concern for us – and for those whose voice is getting lost in the chaos. Help us to hear you, and through you, to hear the voices of the oppressed, the lost, the seething, and the frightened. May your voice bring justice and mercy to us and to all the world.

 

My friends, God hears your voice – whether you shout from the top of your lungs or whisper softly below your breath. God has already forgiven you for not listening – and is calling you to live this Good News through the Holy Spirit.

Praise God, who sends the Spirit of Truth and Love to the world. Amen!

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

confession: Palm Sunday

On this day, O God, we gather with the children who lead the crowd into Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday;

And we consort with the scribes and leaders who condemn Jesus.

We work with the disciples to prepare the way,

And we linger with those who do not understand.

We follow the crowd, shouting, “Hosanna,”

The same crowd who will say all the louder, “Crucify him!”

We celebrate the Son of David,

And we confess we do not follow him to the end. Forgive us, Lord, when we deny you, when we fail to love as you loved or to serve as you served. As we find ourselves in your story this week, reveal the grace you share all the way, even on the cross, Amen. (silent prayer)

Assurance of Grace

One: Brothers and sisters, hear the good news! Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us! (Romans 8:34) Friends, believe the good news!

All: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

 

Submitted by Laura Cunningham, Western Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC