Tag Archives: call to confession

Confession based on Psalm 32 | Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost (Year C)

Liturgy by Stephen M. Fearing.

I haven’t been writing a lot of liturgy lately so I am trying to get back into the swing of things.  Here is a call to confession, prayer of confession, and assurance of pardon for this upcoming Sunday, November 3rd, 2013.  It is based off of Psalm 32.  As always, I welcome your thoughts!

Call to Confession:

The Psalmist tells us that our silence causes us to waste away.
There is so much that is heavy upon us,
so much that we carry.
so much that we dare not utter.
Let us dare together to declare our brokenness.
Let us no longer remain silent.
Let us acknowledge our sin to God.

Confession:

God of Goodness and Mercy,
You created us good and we have not lived up to your expectation.
We have stayed silent when we should have spoken.
We have spoken when we should have stayed silent.
We have tried to hide from you rather than trust your protection.
We have been chosen to be covered by our sin
     when we could have been covered by your goodness.
We have done all these things…
     We are doing all these things…
          We will do these things…
               Hear our prayer this day…

(silent confession)

God of Deliverance,
You create us even this day and in the days to come.
     This alone is our hope.
     This alone is our life.
     This alone is our salvation.
Create within us a hearts of repentance, trust, and faithfulness.
Surround us with glad cries of deliverance
     that we may hear your grace,
          receive your song,
          and sing your goodness.
This we pray in the name of our Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon:

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Friends, hear the good news of the Gospel:
God has heard our cry,
God has forgiven us,
God has renewed us.
Hallelujah! Amen!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Lectionary Texts, Liturgy, Scripture Reflections

Call to Confession | Third Sunday in Lent (Year C)

“To pray means to stop expecting from God the same small-mindedness which you discover in yourself. To pray is to walk in the full light of God and to say simply, without holding back, ‘I am human and you are God.'”

These words from Henri Nouwen illustrate the honesty of the season of Lent. Lent is not a time to beat around the bush or to gloss over the messy details of our lives. Lent is a time to put away our swords, to take off our armor, and to approach our God in all honesty. Let us confess our sins together before our merciful God…

Leave a comment

Filed under Lent, Liturgy

Call to Confession | Second Sunday in Lent (Year C)

“To pray means to stop expecting from God the same small-mindedness which you discover in yourself. To pray is to walk in the full light of God and to say simply, without holding back, ‘I am human and you are God.'”

These words from Henri Nouwen illustrate the honesty of the season of Lent. Lent is not a time to beat around the bush or to gloss over the messy details of our lives. Lent is a time to put away our swords, to take off our armor, and to approach our God in all honesty. Let us confess our sins together before our merciful God…

Leave a comment

Filed under Lent, Liturgy

Resonating the Gospel

resonating

2012 Camp Cherokee Staff in downtown Cartersville, Georgia

It had been a long day. In fact, it had been a long week. The past several days had been spent training a new group of counselors to be faithful, joyful, and responsible stewards of the children that would join us in fellowship at Camp Cherokee in the summer of 2012. Jean and Kelly Howington, the directors of Cherokee Retreat Center (a ministry of Cherokee Presbytery) and I had spent these long days and nights equipping us all with the many skills needed to embark upon this sacred calling of Christian fellowship. The counselors were (understandably) exhausted and we were all ready for a couple days off before the first sounds of campers echoed through the hundred acres of Cherokee Retreat Center.

Before we adjourned, however, we escaped the muggy heat of the early evening and gathered in the dining hall of Parker Lodge for a closing worship before we enjoyed our much-deserved R & R. As the sun dipped behind the shores of Lake Allatoona, we sat cross-legged in a circle on the hard wood floors with a series of candles and liturgical dressings in the middle. The service began.

In the fashion familiar to all of us, we were called to worship and I began to lead an opening song on my guitar. I then invited us into a time of confession. We confessed our sins both silently and then together using a corporate prayer of confession.

I then mustered up a smile and assured the weary staff that our sins had been forgiven. “Hear the good news of the Gospel: Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and was buried. But that is not the end of that story and it certainly is not the end of our own for on the third day Christ rose from the dead that we might be forgiven of our sins and live as a new creation! Hallelujah!”

In response to this good news of the Gospel, we sang “Halle, Halle, Hallelujah,” a tune which we all knew by heart. The rhythmic, Caribbean groove began to erupt from my guitar, resonate off the hard wood floors, and resound with the live acoustics of the room.

The first time through, it sucked. No one was inspired, myself included. We had just heard that the Resurrected Christ had, quite literally, just snatched us out of the jaws of death, claimed us as his own, freed us from sin, and defeated the power of death once and for all and….we just sat there, with a most uninspiring song on our lips and no true joy in our hearts.

Philip, however, would have none of this.

As we entered the second time through singing “Halle, Halle, Hallelujah,” this 10 year old child of God and glad recipient of grace began to enthusiastically beat on the hard wood floor to the groove of the Caribbean melody. We looked at him and smiled…but continued in our lackluster singing.

Philip, however, would have none of this.

With stubbornness and determination (those gifts of the Spirit given to every 10 year old, I suppose), Philip continued to beat ever more enthusiastically on the hard wood floor with a contagious grin upon his face. He looked around, waiting for us to get our act together.

One by one, as we entered the third singing of our sung response to God’s grace, we began to join Philip in his joy. Following the lead of this percussive 10 year old, some of us began clapping, others stamped on the floor, and others swayed back and forth with celebration in our hearts.

As we finished the song, the room was filled with a chorus of witnesses, responding to the assurance that we are forgiven, all because Philip had reminded us of what it meant to truly embody the joy of the Gospel.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, the Gospel goes from empty tomb to empty words without the presence of the Spirit! It is only through the life-giving Spirit that the Gospel resonates within us in such a way that we cannot help but proclaim it with all our hearts and all of our bodies.

And sometimes, curiously enough, it takes the wisdom of a 10 year old to remind us of this truth.

1 Comment

Filed under Liturgical Practices, Music