a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: Bonds and Judgments

Holy and beloved God, though you ask us to love each other, and be bound as your family by that love, we instead like to work to separate those bonds. Whether leaping to conclusions and snap judgments, or out of fear of those who seem different on the surface, we are not comfortable in welcoming the stranger and seeking justice for the oppressed. Change our perception, helping us to know your presence in everyone we encounter. Change our minds, that instead of imposing our way on the world, we first seek your goodness. And change our hearts, filling them to overflowing with your love.

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

confession and assurance: your story for our lives

It is said that we can touch the hearts of others only by first submitting to God our own missteps and mistakes. Let us bow our hearts in prayer and pray together:

Holy God, you are the great scribe of the universe, who writes our stories and chooses our names. But we often turn from the story you have planned – yes, even from the name you have called us, from our true selves inside. Help us to unify and reunite in your plan for us. Help us learn from our wounds that we should rely on your story for our lives. Make clear to us your vision, that we might follow it every day of our lives. Help us now to hear your name for us as we struggle with our sins and offer them to you in silence.

A time of silence for reflection

Friends – hear the good news! God knows us and our lives even before we are aware of God’s presence. In Christ, God showed us that even one who is fully divine and fully human can struggle with doubt, and yet have faith. Yes, even Jesus prayed the same prayer multiple times – and showed us that we could do so too. Let us forgive one another as God has forgiven us, and remember that we are not alone in our struggles with God!

submitted by Rev. Lucus Keppel, Corona United & Ancho Community Presbyterian Churches, New Mexico

CTW: struggle together

We are called this morning to struggle together,
to turn every breath into a prayer to God.
In this place, the Spirit of God tells us to hold on.
We cry out for God’s blessing.
Let us be persistent in our prayers
so that we might be refined into the image of Christ. Amen!

inspired by Genesis 32:22-31 and Luke 18:1-8
submitted by Rev. Lucus Keppel, Corona United & Ancho Community Presbyterian Churches, New Mexico

prayer: treasure of your heart

Holy God:
with the precious jewel
of holy scripture,
you share with us
the treasure of your heart.
Engrave your covenant –
your hopes, your dreams,
your vision, your peace –
upon our hearts,
that they might beat
as one with yours.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies.

confession: reform and transform

Call to Reconciliation
Seeking to follow Jesus, we often wander down the wrong roads. Impatient
with God’s schedule, we rush off to do things our way. Let us confess our
foolishness, that we might receive God’s hope for our lives.

Unison Prayer of Confession
Your words are given to us, Author of Life, so we might be reformed,
but we are intent on changing others.  Your words are offered to us so we
might be transformed, but we are focused on conforming to our culture. Your
words are spoken to lead us into new life, but we hold our old ways tight to
our chests.
Forgive us, God of Wonder. Do not remember our sins, but continue to
touch us with your steadfast mercy. Show us how to be persistent in living
out our faith, even as you were so tenacious in offering us your grace and
life in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L:  Jesus reminds us that we are to be resolute in our lives of faithfulness
and service.  The good news is that God is steadfast in filling us with love
and grace.
P:  We are forgiven people. May we live as sisters and brothers in Christ,
God’s children in word and deed, in hope and joy. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies.

CTW: etches grace

L:  We have gathered in God’s holy presence,
the One who etches grace on our hearts.
P:  This is the place where God
will transform us into disciples.
L:  We glorify our God, who yearns for justice,
not just for a favored few, but for the least of our world.
P:  This is the place where God
will write compassion on our souls.
L:  We give thanks to God for unceasing grace;
we remember God’s persistence in saving us.
P:  This is the place where God
P:  will breathe the Word into our lives.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies.