a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: looking for mercy

O Lord our Shepherd, maker of heaven and earth,
we lift up our eyes to the hills,
looking for your mercy and forgiveness.
You watch over us night and day,
and yet our feet go astray;
we slip, stumble, and fall into sin.

We confess that we do not watch for your guidance,
trust in your protection,
or offer your comfort to others.
Forgive us.
We need you to save us from the evil we bring on ourselves.
We need you to guide us as we go out into the world
and come back into your presence.

Restore us, we pray in Jesus’ name,
for he promises your mercy from this time forth and forevermore. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Confession: Vulnerable Love

Holy and Beloved God, you are the one worthy of praise, who fills our hearts with extraordinary joy, and who weeps with us when we lash out and hurt each other. In your infinite love, you care for us, and teach us to love each other as you do. Instead, we too often use our feelings as a shortcut for manipulation, trying to get others to do what we want instead of listening for your guidance. Help us to change, to listen to each other, trusting in you and each other to love again in vulnerability, knowing that all shall be well. Amen.

 

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

Confession: rather than

God of love, you come to us in the person of Jesus Christ,
who embodied humility for our sake.
We confess that we have chosen pride rather than humility.
We have tried to take advantage of our position and abilities,
rather than offering them up for the sake of others.
We have not listened to your Word made flesh.
Forgive us.
Teach us to give glory to you alone,
to humbly serve each other,
and to follow as disciples of Jesus Christ,
our risen Lord. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

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.
Amen.

 

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