a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: if you had been here…

One: Loving Lord, how often we face tragic news we cannot understand. Our hearts may echo Martha and Mary at Lazarus’s tomb, who said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

All: Lord, if you had been here, our hearts would not be heavy.

One: Lord, if you had been here, these people would not be hungry.

All: Lord, if you had been here, our climate would not be on the brink.

One: We each bring our own situation in silence, when we say, “Lord if you had been here…” (moment of silence) Lord, have mercy on us.

All: Forgive us when we forget your presence and deny love’s work.

One: In prayer, show us you are with us in the deepest sense, and that you weep with all who mourn.

All: Remind us how tragedy and injustice break your heart, and help us see you nearby, wherever people go hungry or your creation is threatened.

One: Grant us faith to trust you are truly here, with us, bringing new life we can now only imagine.

All: Give us hope, that looking towards your resurrection, we might discover and share glimpses of that new life already coming among us, in your name, Amen. (silent prayer)

 

Assurance of Grace

One: Friends, hear the good news: Seen or unseen, God is with us. Bidden or unbidden, Christ is present.

All: May we live assured of what we cannot see, trusting in the power who makes all things new. Thanks be to God!

Sung response: What a Friend We Have In Jesus, verse 1

 

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

CTW Psalm 130

God we cry out to you from the valleys of our lives.
Hear our pleas, listen to our cries, hear our voice, O God.
Lord, we wait, and we wait, and we wait.
Divine one, our soul waits for you, for our hope is in your word.
Hope in the Lord, you people of God,
For God’s love for us is unbreakable!

 

Submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church Burlington IA

confession: we’d rather keep the door closed

One:    You, Lord, are Alpha and Omega—beginning and end.
But in between sometimes it feels like we are on our own,
and then the illusion of control is so seductive.

All:     Forgive us when we try to control you, insisting that your will must match ours.
For we confess that we do not like the unknown,
so we fill that void with shoulds and musts we expect both you and others to obey.
We’d rather keep the door closed with certainty than risk opening to changed life.
We’d rather be bound up in our own beliefs than risk being set free by love, for love.

~silence~

One:    Open wide the door of life, O God,
All:     and give us courage to walk through.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL