This past Wednesday, during our Evensong worship service, I gave the students a handout with these words on it. We read the confession together. Then I asked them to write with black sharpies on a black table cloth a couple of things.* Those things that they feel are hindering them from feeling God’s love, the personal and corporate sins they wanted to confess, the name of person(s) that they want to forgive, and their worries and fears. We have every Sunday and Wednesday, Communion, as well as a votive candle rack, so I asked them to ponder, light a candle, and focus on confession, forgiveness and love and then we would do Communion, a tangible sign of God’s love for each of us.
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the way of peace.
Come into the brokenness of our lives and our land
with your healing love.
Help us to be willing to bow before you in true, actual repentance,
and to bow to one another in real forgiveness.
Lead and guide us, O God our creator, to see anyone that we have
done actual harm or the harm of neglecting the others feelings.
By the fire of your Holy Spirit, melt our hard hearts
and consume the pride and prejudice which separate us.
Fill us, O Lord, with your perfect love, which casts out all fear,
and bind us together in that renewed reconciliation and unity.
May we trust that as we confess ALL of our sins both personal and corporate,
that Jesus, Emmanuel, will be faithful and true.
Renew us day by day by the power of the Living God that seeps into
us as we seek the freedom that comes from knowing that we are truly forgiven.
Revive in us a Spirit of forgiveness in our day to day lives, walking and living in
a way that leads to evidence of God’s kingdom coming to Earth.
(based on BOW 482 and changed by me to fit this particular community – Cecil Kerr, Northern Ireland, 20th Century)
“Make Me Merciful”
by Peter Storey
Holy Jesus, your forgiving love
Saves and disturbs me.
Without it, I am lost,
Yet, if I receive it, I must practice it.
By your mercy, make me merciful;
By your forgiveness, help me to forgive.
As I have been forgiven.
Colossians 3:12-15 (NRSV)
12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
I played Needtobreath’s “More Heart, Less Attack” and “Rivers in the Wasteland.”
- Kristen Marshall created this prayer station.