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confession and pardon: pruning

Call to Confession

There are many things that can cut us off from the One True Vine. Our sins are like so much dead wood. When we confess the dead places in our lives, God offers us the forgiveness we need to prune them away and allow us to thrive once more. We come now to confess the parts of our lives that do not bear fruit…

Prayer of Confession

Gracious God, we confess that we each have places in our lives that could use some pruning. Our words do not always give grace to those who hear, our actions do not always witness to our baptism in your name. We have ignored those who need our help the most and focused on hoarding more for ourselves. Our selfish desires only serve to wither us and turn us into dying branches. Forgive us, and prune away our dead places so that we may bear fruit generously in your name…

…moment of silent confession…

Assurance of Forgiveness

We are grafted into the Living Vine. The Vinegrower has tended to us and removed our sinful and withered ways. We are given another chance to live and bear fruit. For these gifts of love and life, let us stand and sing praise!

This confession would be appropriately followed by a Gloria of some sort.

Submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Suffolk, VA

confession and pardon: fears like pocket lint

Call to Reconciliation
There come those moments when we stand exposed, our failings, our hurtful words, our harmful ways open for all to see. But God takes these moments, and these sins, redeeming them through compassionate love, making us new people, children of the Living God. Let us come, in these moments, with our prayers to the One who waits to forgive us and make us whole. Please join me as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
We carry our fears around with us like so much pocket lint, Compassionate Heart, when you would take them and toss them aside, spent and useless. You invite us to sit and chat with someone who wants to know more about you, but we are busy running errands. You give us a simple command  –  to love, and we complicate it with rules, worries, and doubts.

Forgive us, Vine Grower.  You have planted those seeds of mercy, of hope, of grace deep within us, so we might bear rich and nourishing fruit for others. May we not get in the way of your Gardener, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, who will use the Holy Spirit to bring forth an abundant crop.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
God abides in you! God is breathing, living, forgiving, restoring you in this moment, and in the days to come. This is the good news for us!
As God is in us, so we can live, work, care for others, so that love, hope and joy might touch all people. Thanks be to God, we are forgiven. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.