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Call to Confession for Advent, Narrative Lectionary year 4 and John 1

In Advent, we prepare for the coming of Christ,
full of grace and truth.
Trusting in God’s unfailing grace,
let us tell the truth about ourselves,
joining in our prayer of confession.

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

confession: lip service

Your word still rings true, Lord, generation after generation. You are a God who keeps promises. Yet we confess that we would prefer your work to conform to our timeline, and even better to our desires. We sometimes pay lip service to your word while seeking our own glory. And when we are frustrated and yearn for an answer, our words are often bland and cliché while our faith is in turmoil. Forgive us, O God, for our impatience and our unwillingness to be completely honest, even with you. Help us to trust you enough to grow into real relationship with you. Amen.

 

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

CTW: look to the stars

One: Look to the stars—filling the sky with light!
All: God’s word is a light, shining bright in the darkness.
One: Look to the stars—spread across the universe, farther than any eye has seen.
All: God is everywhere present, whether we go to the ends of the earth or depths of the sea.
One: Look to the stars—more than we even have numbers to count.
All: God’s grace is beyond imagining, beyond language, beyond counting.
One: Look to the stars—signs of God’s promise, shining through all generations.
All: We come to worship God, in whom we trust.

 

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

confession: impatient, overwhelmed, and frustrated

Prayer for Confession (Unison)
Gracious God, we pray for new understanding
because we are tormented by our doubts and mistakes.  
We confess that we have been impatient with your ways.
We have not trusted your wisdom but have insisted on our own ways. We have been so overwhelmed and frustrated by what does not make sense that we have denied your righteousness and your salvation. We have ignored your glory.
We have dismissed your love. Forgive us, Gracious God.
Grant us new understanding.
 
Affirmation of God’s Grace (Responsive)
Leader: Beloved in Christ, believe in the good news.
For God’s love is made manifest in our flesh.
God’s love has been poured over us with
wisdom and understanding.
 People: We belong to God. Alleluia! Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Elsa Peters.

opening prayer: silence

One:     We come into your holy place, O God, hoping for a glimpse of your presence

All:       Silence us when we allow our voices to drown out yours.

            Silence us when our words in the sanctuary and our actions outside do not line up.

            Into that silence, speak again your word of life and your call to live the gospel.

One:     Help us to be still and know that you are God.

Make space in our hearts and minds to trust your word—and not just our hearts and minds,

but also our choices and actions.

All:       Tune our voices to sing of your glory, to share your good news.

            And then open our lips, and our mouths shall proclaim your praise. Amen.

 

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

confession: scurrying and striving

Lord, we have not trusted you. In all our scurrying to prepare, even spiritually, we have forgotten this one thing—to believe, to cling, to lay our burdens on you. We have failed to trust in your eternal realm. We brought it all on ourselves to carry the weight of sin, the need to fix our own problems and clean up our own messes. In all this striving, we missed the brightness of your morning star; we missed the fullness of the joy a life lived in you radiates. Fill us with your truth. Shape us into creatures who trust and obey, that we may rejoice with you in our salvation! Amen. 

 

Submitted by Rev. Elaine Murray Dreeben, Canyon Lake Presbyterian Church, TX

call to confession / declaration of grace: mind-expanding faith

CALL TO CONFESSION

God doesn’t call us to a blind faith…
but to a faith that is eye-opening and mind-expanding.
But we often find it more beneficial for ourselves
if we pretend we cannot see or understand God’s vision for creation.

So please join me in the prayer of confession…

 

DECLARATION OF GRACE

(NOTE: The words of Jesus in italics, which are the words spoken to Thomas, could be spoken by another person besides the worship leader, perhaps someone sitting within the congregation with a microphone)

This is Good News:

God does not mock us when we fail to trust,
but invites us into a deeper, more intimate relationship.

Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand in my side. Trust me!

God does not shame us when our faith waivers,
but challenges us to be strengthened by God’s promises.

Happy are those who don’t see…and yet trust!

God’s purpose is not to tear us down…but to build us up…
forgiven…refreshed…and renewed!

So let’s sing…and let’s give thanks to God!

confession: behind closed doors

Sometimes we hide ourselves
behind closed doors…
afraid to love…
afraid to share…
afraid to be vulnerable.

Sometimes we hide ourselves
behind locked minds…
unwilling to love…
unwilling to share…
unwilling to be vulnerable.

But you always invite us
to step outside…
to trust…
and to embrace your new life.

Forgive our faintheartedness…
release us from our reluctance…
and inspire us to go and be and tell and do
your good news…

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

confession: denial

You, O Lord, are the giver of every good gift. Your love is the ground of our being. You call us to listen, to feast upon your word, and to follow in your way. You call us to trust you with everything we are and everything we have. Yet so often we deny you—by claiming we deserve what we have, by remaining silent in the face of injustice, by keeping busy so we do not have time to hear the cock crow.

For all the ways we have betrayed you, and ourselves, forgive us, O God.

~silence~

One:    Open wide the door of life, O God,

All:     and give us courage to walk through.