!! Confession.jpg

DURING LENT THIS YEAR, we have been doing a few things differently in worship that are reflective of the season. Instead of a Gloria (a short song giving glory to God), we sing a Kyrie (a short song asking for mercy). We don't sing Alleluias but rather are saving them for Easter. We talk about the wilderness of our lives as we try to be faithful to following Christ. These are all familiar traditions. Something new this year has been a congregational prayer of confession instead of a pastoral prayer. “Why do we do this?” Well, since you asked ...

Prayers of confession come in all shapes and sizes. For us, we're saying a prayer in unison to name before God how the Church Universal hasn't always been the best it could be. This doesn't necessarily mean our congregation specifically, or yourself individually — but then again it might (If the shoe fits ...). Either way, it's important to name how things are, to be honest with ourselves, and ask God to help us be better at being Church as we seek the renewal of love and life for the world. A corporate prayer of confession (one we all say together) allows us to speak truths before God that we might not have the courage to say otherwise, and then seek wisdom for change.

Perhaps you come from a faith tradition that uses such prayers of confession. Perhaps you don't, and this is something new to you. Hopefully, through our practice this year we'll all come to a better appreciation of the honesty necessary in being Church together, the grace we extend toward each other, and the God of Love who is ever-present with us during our wandering in the wilderness as we seek the Way that leads to Life. [mnr]

It is the swift kick of anxiousness
that awakens us in
the long, dark night, Holy One.
We know this path
of yours as grace,
your every act
a teaching.

And yet
this is what we have.
The memory of missed chances
forks in the road not taken
Lives we never lived.

This is what we bring to you.
It is the hurt we shoved back in the back of our mind
The way we have turned our neighbor’s light into darkness
The way we have sought our own wholeness on the back of another’s brokenness
The way we deny the things we know we need to others who need them, too.

Holy One,
This is our offering.
It is confession that we offer
and a repentent hope
that we long for.

We seek to learn
love for neighbor
and love for you.
We seek to be
navigators of ways
dreamers of dreams
prophets of justice
Makers of Peace.

God beyond language
meet us in the places where our words
will never suffice
Give us new words
holy and true
enough to still
our anxious, quickening hearts.

This is our prayer,
a prayer for ourselves
and for the world.