a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: we want…

We struggle with what we want from this world, Jesus.  We want to be acknowledged for the deeds and work we have done.  We want others to serve us.  We want to have power.  We want it all.  So when you tell us that this is not your way, we struggle.  We don’t want to think about giving away all that we have.  Serving rather than being served is a hard shift for us to make.  Serving in secret, or without the expectation of acknowledgement doesn’t make sense to us.  Giving up our power and authority scares us.  We don’t want to.  And yet, Jesus, you call us to do just those things.  Let us hear your words to us.  Give us hearts open wide enough to accept that we are to live differently.  Grant us the strength to let go of what we think makes us secure and let us find our security in you.

(silent confession)

Submitted by Rev. Julie Jensen, First Presbyterian Church, Cartersville, GA

CTW: Christ Calls Us

Christ calls us
Not to power, but to servanthood
Christ calls us
Not to shun, but to include
Christ calls us
Not to hoard, but to give
Christ calls us
Not to deny him, but to proclaim him
Christ calls us.
Christ calls us to come and follow him.  Here, we come together and worship the Lord.

 

Submitted by Rev. Julie Jensen, First Presbyterian Church, Cartersville, GA

confession and assurance: love one another

Prayer of Confession

God of compassion and mercy, you sent us your Son as the savior of the world, and told us to love one another as much as you loved us.  Yet, we struggle to love each other.  We have a hard time loving those who are not like us, who disagree with us, or who ask us to face the truths about ourselves.  You told us to love one another, because love is from God.  And we often do not love those we think are dirty, hungry, lost, or undesirable.  It is written that perfect love casts out fear, and yet we are afraid.  Afraid for our safety, our wallets, and how others perceive us.  Forgive us, God, and show us how to love thy way you command us to love.  Release us from our judgment and our fear.  Open our hearts so that they might receive your perfect love for us, and offer it to the world.

(Silent Confession)

Assurance of Forgiveness

Friends, the good news is this: love is from God, and we are loved by God. God sent Christ into the world to atone for our sins, and in him we are forgiven.

Submitted by Rev. Julie Jensen, First Presbyterian Church, Cartersville, GA

confession and pardon: on a journey, complaining about the road

God, we are on a journey. We do not know where it will end, and often complain about the road. We know that you are at work, and part of that work requires us to be open to you and to transformation. Forgive us when our hearts are closed to you. We do not always change, nor do we desire to go where you send us. When we harden our spirits to your transforming work, make us malleable. When the road seems long and we complain, show us a better way to be. When the mantle of your leadership is offered to us, help us to accept it. Give us ears to hear what you ask us to do, and hearts to follow. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon (based on 2 Corinthians 4:6)

It is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness” who shines in our hearts. Jesus Christ, the light of the world shines in each of us, and in him we find forgiveness. Friends, believe the good news: In Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

Thanks be to God.

submitted by Rev. Julie Jensen, First Presbyterian Church, Cartersville, GA

CTW: God does not keep silent

One: It may feel as though we are caught in a tempest.
All: Our God comes and does not keep silent.
One: We watch the rising and the setting of the sun, wondering what tomorrow will bring.
All: Our God comes and does not keep silent.
One: There is a voice calling the faithful ones to listen.
All: Our God comes and does not keep silent.
One: We hear that everything, including us, belongs to God, and is in God’s care.
All: Our God comes and does not keep silent. We are listening.

Submitted by Rev. Julie Jensen, Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Cartersville, GA