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Confession: we laugh at your call

Covenant-making God, you call us by name,
transforming our past into your future.
We confess that sometimes we laugh at your call, believing it to be impossible.
We protest, insisting that you should conform to our way.
We ignore your voice, refusing to admit to anyone what we have heard,
instead going about our lives as if we heard nothing.
Forgive us, O God, and speak our names once again.
Change our hearts and our lives, until we are able to trust your promise.
We pray in the name of the One whose name is above all names, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

(A block with the signatures of the congregation may be placed near the rainbow block.)

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Liturgy for other weeks of the Lent B Old Testament readings may be found here.

Confession: we don’t know what to confess

Call to Confession
Sometimes we must let go of our nets in order to follow Jesus.
Let us confess our reluctance to follow,
and examine what we must let go of in order to follow Jesus.

Prayer of Confession
We confess that we do not often know what to confess, O Lord. We are so consumed by our own projects that we don’t always hear your voice. We know that you speak through the suffering of others, the curiosity of one who needs to know they are not alone, and the opportunity to demonstrate love and forgiveness. Help us, Lord, to know our faults and turn from them. Hear us now, even as we confess our own unwillingness to hear you.
(silent prayer)
Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers.
Guide us in the true way of life as we follow you today. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Zach Sasser, First Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, Louisiana

CTW: inward heart

One:  God calls old and young, tall and short, insider and outsider.

All:  God calls beautiful and plain, beginner and expert, silly and serious.

One:  God calls rich and poor, left right and center, faithful and doubting.

All:  God calls into the heart, not based on appearance or circumstance.

One:  God calls…listen, can you hear?

 

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

confession: too _____

One:  Gracious God, you know each of us by name, and you have given each of us a particular set of gifts and a calling in this world.  So often, we don’t make the most of these gifts and we act as though we are inadequate to answer your call.  We say things like,

Men:  I’m too old.

Women:  I’m too scared.

Children & Youth:  I’m too young.

All:  Forgive us, Lord, when we ignore your call.

. . .  silence . . .

One:  Even when we hear your call, even when we sense that you have a particular purpose for us, we come up with reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t respond.  We say things like,

Men:  I’m too busy.

Women:  I’m too tired.

Children & Youth:  I don’t know how.

All:  Forgive us, Lord, when we protest your call.  Help us to see that you have a purpose and a calling for each of us.   By your Spirit, remind us of your constant presence with us as we seek to be in your witnesses in our local community and beyond.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Katelyn Gordon, Providence Presbyterian Church

illumination: you knew us

Holy God,
you knew us before we knew ourselves.
You consecrate us even now to be your servants.
Create in us hearts worthy to be your prophets
that we might go where you send us,
and speak the Word that you give us.
Through the power of your Holy Spirit,
place your words upon our lips
and your grace upon our hearts
so that we might pluck up and pull down,
destroy and overthrow,
build and plant,
as you, alone, have commanded. Amen.
inspired by Jeremiah 1:4-10, the Old Testament lectionary passage for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany (year C)
submitted by Stephen Fearing, student at Columbia Theological Seminary

CTW: formed, known, appointed

One:    The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, as it had come to many others before him:
All:     I formed you, I know you, I appoint you.
One:    And Jeremiah, like many others before and since, protested.
All:     But God doesn’t take excuses, and sent him to go and speak and build and plant.
One:    God put the words into his mouth, that he might proclaim good news.
All:     Still God puts God’s word out into the world through human mouths!
One:    The word of the Lord comes to us, too, in this place and this time: I formed you, I know you, I appoint you.
All:     And so we come to worship, to be made yet again into the builders of God’s kingdom.

 

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

confession: opposites

Holy God,
you have brought us together as one body with many members,
each of us with gifts given according to your Spirit.
We confess that we struggle to discern what role we are called to do.
We speak when you call us to listen.
We listen when you call us to walk.
We walk when you call us to wait.
We wait when you call us to do.
Through the power of your Holy Spirit,
show this community who you have called us to be.
Guide us through this tension of One and yet many
that we might strive for the greater gift of unity
and play the part of disciples of the one Spirit.  Amen.

Submitted by Stephen Fearing, student at Columbia Theological Seminary

illumination: moving

Loving God, we will hear how long ago the people told Ezra to read the Scriptures to them. As we listen to your Word today, may we find it as moving as they did, as we are filled with the light of your love and opened to your call which sends us to live your message. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Daniel Hayward, Trinity Ingleside and Newington United Churches (The United Church of Canada), South Stormont ON.

confession: afraid

Let us join together in confessing our sins and our faith:

You call us out, Lord. You call us by name. You call us to bring redemption and hope to desolate places and ____ people. We confess that we are afraid. We are afraid of what others will think. We are afraid we might get hurt. We are afraid we might get taken advantage of. Help us in our fears, Lord. Strengthen us with your resolve.

A moment of silent prayer.

Through Jesus God revealed the truth of what is possible.
Through Jesus God showed us the Way.
Through Jesus do not have to be afraid.
Lord, help us to trust you; help us to lean into you and let you show us the way.

ASSURANCE OF GRACE
Through Christ a Way has been revealed that leads us on a journey of learning, maturing, and growing in our understanding and faith. Trust this good news and trust God.
Through Jesus Christ we are healed of our fears, forgiven for our sins, and nourished for this journey. Thanks be to God!

 

Submitted by Rev. Eric Ledermann, University Presbyterian Church, Tempe AZ.

CTW: called

The Lord has called us by name, called us out!
We are here, is that not enough?
We have been called for a purpose, to offer hope for the world.
Where can this hope be found?
It is within you, that yearning for something bigger than yourself.
What do we do with it?
We speak the truth of God’s grace, mercy and love. We live the truth every moment of our lives as best we can.
It sounds too hard, it seems too big!
And that is what Jesus came to do: to help us, guide us, encourage us. Come, let us worship the Lord, the Almighty!

 

Submitted by Rev. Eric Ledermann, University Presbyterian Church, Tempe AZ