a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

Illumination: open

Open your good news to us, O God…and open us to your good news, that we may find ourselves in your abundant life. Speak, Lord, and help us to listen. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Litany of Penitence: at the threshold of life

One:    God, you are Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.

All:     You formed us from the earth
and breathed life into our bodies.
You walk among us
and offer us your life.
You call us together
and breathe your Spirit through us.

One:    You have made us in your image.

All:     Now remind us that still, we are not God.
For we confess that we have forgotten.

One:    We have forgotten that it is your kingdom, not ours.
We have forgotten to listen for your voice, so often drowned out by our own.
We have forgotten that you call all creation to life and relationship, not rules and regulations.

Kyrie

One:    We pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done”
and yet we confess, O Lord, that we are very attached to our own wills.

All:     We ask your forgiveness for the times we think we have all the answers.
We confess that we have slammed the door, keeping others out,
we have stood in the doorway monitoring who comes and goes,
and sometimes we have barged right through others’ doors,
caring little for the consequences.
Forgive us, O God, and turn us again to your way.
Fill us with your steadfast love, and lead us into life.

~silence~

Kyrie

One:    You call, O Lord,
sometimes in a storm and sometimes in a silence,
through your word written and proclaimed,
through the voice of stranger and enemy and friend.

All:     I confess that I have not always been an eager student of your word,
I have talked more than I have listened in prayer,
and that I might not recognize your voice in a crowd.
I admit that I have followed other voices,
and that my own voice has often been louder than yours.
I have stood by the door, but not walked through.
I have stood by the door, and kept others from walking through.
I have stood by the door, calling people to walk my way rather than yours.
Forgive me, O God, and turn me again to your way.
Fill me with your steadfast love, and lead me into life.

~silence~

Kyrie

One:    You, Lord, are Healer, making wholeness where once there was brokenness.
You offer a way of life that carries hope for all the world.

All:     Yet we turn our eyes from a dying creation, ignoring your call to care.
We admit that we choose what is easy,
at the expense of the people and the planet you have created.
We confess that we want the green pastures and still waters for ourselves,
and we have set up systems in which some waste away while we simply waste.
When our doors are unmarked, so only those in the know may enter,
when our hearts are firmly locked against anything new,
when our habits are closed and therefore shut others out,
forgive us, O God, and turn us again to your way.
Fill us with your steadfast love, and lead us into life.

~silence~

Kyrie

One:    We stand at the threshold
of community
of grief
of hope
of repentance
of possibility
of fear
of forgiveness
of life.

~silence~

Every day is filled with opportunities both missed and taken—
to speak up, to speak out, to keep silent, to listen…
to hope, to despair, to heal, to hurt, to help…
to come in and to go out and to find pasture.

~silence~

The Kingdom of God (Taize)

The Turning

One:    Trusting in the gracious mercy of God,
do you turn from the ways of sin and toward God,
who is faithful and just, loving and compassionate?

All:     I turn my mind, my heart, and my life toward God.

One:    Will you seek God with your whole heart,
and follow where God’s Spirit leads?

All:     I will, with God’s help.

One:    Will you be Christ’s faithful disciple,
obeying his Word and showing his love?

All:     I will, with God’s help.

~silence~

The Kingdom of God (Taize)

One:    Your steadfast love endures forever, O God.

All:     From dust we came,
to dust we will return;
but your steadfast love endures forever.   

One:    We gather in penitence,
we gather in confidence;
we stand at the threshold of life.

All:     Restore us, O God,
open the gate and turn us to follow your path again,
to proclaim your love that endures forever.

 

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

confession: we separate ourselves

Eternal God, your compassion waits for us around every corner, pursuing us to the depths of our existence. We separate ourselves from you by making destructive choices and living in ways that lead to death, rather than graciously receiving the gift of abundant life. Have mercy on us!  Weep for us and with us, that by your power we may inhale the breath of your Spirit and know the freedom of forgiveness, restoration to wholeness, and life everlasting. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Elaine Murray Dreeben, Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Dallas Texas