a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: at the edge

Lord, you are before and behind us, around us and within. We give you thanks for your constant presence, even as we admit that we don’t always see or hear you with us. So often we find ourselves standing at the edge…of uncertainty, of fear, of society, of faith, of life. We pray for your path to be clear, to show us your way, but we confess that sometimes we see it and we are afraid and turn our eyes back instead. We long for comfort, stability, familiarity. We admit to you that we prefer the easier way of what we have always done, even if it is not where you currently call. Forgive us, O God. Forgive us for our selective memory, our tendency to nostalgia, our hearts set on self-preservation. Turn our eyes forward, to where you are leading. Remind us that you are our God, and will never leave us. Give us faith to see your way, and courage to walk it. Focus our minds, hearts, and strength on your love, that we may know you fully…for to know you is to love you, and to love you is to serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom.
It is with faith and hope that we ask these things in the name of your Son, Jesus the Christ, whose love casts out all fear and leads us into new life with you. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock.

Confession: come with us

Lord of the Way, you said that where you are, your servants will be. We confess that we would prefer you to come with us, rather than for us to go with you. Too often you are found in places we would rather avoid, with people we are afraid of, doing things we wish you wouldn’t. Forgive our inward vision, and call us to your side once again. Give us courage to follow where you lead, to bring others along on the journey, and to live as people filled with your grace, your hope, your truth, your life. We pray in the name of the One who was obedient even to the cross, and beyond to the empty tomb, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession: cheer at the expense of joy

Word of God, Breath of Life, come and live among us again. Clear away the things that clutter our hearts and lives, making it difficult to see and do your will. And where we have chosen to believe your way is obscure, preferring our way to yours, make your truth shine out. When we have chosen to focus on cheer at the expense of joy, forgive us and cause righteousness and praise to spring up in your world once again. We pray in the name of the coming Christ. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession – Turning Our Backs

Holy and Beloved God, Sovereign of the Universe, we pray for forgiveness. It is so easy to lose your way—even with the light of the sun and the moon to guide us, we often prefer to turn our backs and head out on our own path. Then, when we have adjusted to the darkness, turning back to your light seems to hurt our eyes, and we squeeze them shut to block out our pain and the pain around us. Help us to open our eyes again. To trust that the pain of seeing the world as you see it is reduced when we do your work. Hear the pains and burdens we bear—and take them from our hearts, that we may instead be filled with your heavenly joy and love.

 

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

 

(for a service remembering Buzz Aldrin taking communion on the moon)

confession: we lose our way

Loving Christ, you tell your disciples that you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, yet how often we lose our way, confuse the truth, and choose little deaths rather than live in your abundance. We confess our distractions, how tempted we are by roads more traveled. We admit the seduction of certainty, of those who say what we want to hear. We know our ways of life make us sick and threaten our planet, yet we feel powerless to live otherwise.
Still, in your grace, you give us the cross, the signpost on your Way. Your Truth confronts the powers of this world, revealing their self-service and false promises. Your Life grows as we follow you and so discover an abundance we could never imagine on our own, bringing life to communities everywhere. As we travel our Lenten journey, may we know where you are going, and may we follow and find our home. Amen.

Silent Prayer

Assurance of Grace
In the difficulties of the holiest week, no matter how others gave up on him, Jesus continued to love others. We remember that Jesus still shows us the depths of God’s love and calls us to share that love with others. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Laura Cunningham, Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, Pearl River, NY

call to confession: put down the baggage

God is faithful and asks us to be faithful as well. We seek God’s way, recognizing that we are hindered by the baggage we carry along on the journey. When we confess our sin, we offer that burden to Christ, and make room for the Spirit’s work in our hearts, minds, and lives. Before God, with the people of God, let us confess to our brokenness. Let us pray.

 

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

confession: what we’re talking about on the way

One:      You call us to follow, not just your footsteps
but your way of life and your way of thinking.

All:      Yet when you ask us what we are talking about amongst ourselves, we fall silent.

One:      The things that occupy our thoughts
are not the things that occupy yours.

All:      We are full of concern about:
Money. Perfect family. Power.
Body type. Privilege. Big Names.
Good grades. Friends. Nice car.
Winning teams. Good job. Big house.
Recognition. Followers. Fame.
Vacation. Honor.

One:      You are full of concern about
grace, love, justice, peace, hope, transformation.
About feeding the hungry, offering rest to the weary,
and ending oppression.
Your life and work seem so opposite
to the way the world works.

All:      Your thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways, O God.

One:      And so we remain silent, or worse, we rationalize our way.

All:      Help us, Lord, to turn toward your way,
to fill our minds with your thoughts,
to fill our hearts with your love,
to fill our footsteps with your will.
Guide us as we seek your vision of success,
though it will mean letting go of our own.
We pray in the name of the One who turned success upside down.
Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

confession: one-way conversations

God, you call to us, but often we do not listen.

We are so busy speaking, we forget that conversations go two ways.

We are so busy looking for what we want, we forget to look for what you want.

Quiet our fear, our greed, and even our uncertainty,

that we may seek you, and hear you, and know you.

Forgive us our one-way conversations, our short-sighted solutions, our narrow fields of vision.

When we look only for answers, sit beside us as a friend in the questions.

When we look only for our desires, walk with us through your beautiful yet broken world.

When we look only for our own ways, open our eyes to your way,

and bring us to true life with you, today and every day.

We pray in the name of the One who lives and breathes among and within us. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

declaration of grace: people on the way

Thanks to Teri’s CTW (people on the way) for the thematic inspiration 🙂

Listen to the good news!

We are people on the way…
We are people whom God refuses to abandon
when we choose the destructive way in our moments of weakness.
We are people on the way to lives of faith, hope, and love…
Lives of justice, mercy, and humbleness.
We are people on the way…

So let’s sing and give thanks to God!

CTW: people on the way

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

One: Celebrating, living, journeying
All: We are people on the way.
One: Fighting, caring, challenging
All: We are people on the way.
One: Hurting, believing, exploring
All: We are people on the way.
One: Sharing, understanding, nurturing
All: We are people on the way.