Giver of beauty and bounty, the world is filled with people to love and provisions for living. Yet we infect your blessings with fear. We use people and love things seeking the shallow security of isolation and independence. Forgive us for hoarding life that only grows when shared, for taking love when love is made for giving. Do not pull back from us. Help us to find faith to give our love to others as you did in Christ…
Submitted by Rev. Laura Cunningham, Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, Pearl River, NY
CALL TO CONFESSION
The Psalmist asserts that all have gone astray, fleeing from the shepherd who longs to gather us together and heal our brokenness. Let us take this time to return to God, admitting our failings and holding close to the understanding that God longs to gather us in.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (UNISON)
Holy God, we must confess that we are led off your way into paths marked by our distorted passions: greed, lust, and our hunger for power. We confess that once we follow our passions, it is easier to continue down these treacherous paths rather than returning to you once again. Give us the strength to turn back to your Way. Transform us once again by your saving grace that we might pursue your Son our Lord with all our heart, mind and soul, and so be renewed into the fullness of life that you have promised us. We pray this in Jesus name, Amen.
TIME OF SILENT CONFESSION
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
God assures us: No one has wandered so far down other paths that God cannot find them. No one is beyond God’s love or reach. Friends remember this: It is through the life, death and resurrection of the Christ that we are forgiven. Let us rejoice and give God Glory!
Submitted by Jason Carle, pastor at Overland Park Presbyterian Church (Overland Park, KS)
Bringer of peace, we confess we call holy places of sterile stone and dead wood instead of being built into a temple of living hearts and helping hands. Forgive us for dividing humanity when you have joined all together with the cross. May we build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone. Hear us as we move our hearts so they may be your home…
(based on Ephesians 2:11-22)
You are no longer aliens.
We are citizens with the saints.
You are no longer strangers.
We are members of the household of God.
Here we are built into the dwelling place of God! Alleluia!
Submitted by Rev. Christy Ramsey, Goodyear Heights Presbyterian Church, Akron, Ohio