Oct 28, 2017

Confession: Matthew 23: 1-12

Here’s a prayer of confession followed by words of assurance based on Matthew 23: 1-12, one of the suggested scripture texts for October 30, 2011 (Proper 26A, Ordinary 31A).  It was written by Moira Laidlaw.

Prayer of Confession
(based on Matthew 23: 1-12)

Jesus, teacher and Lord,
when we hear your criticism of the behaviour
of the scribes and the Pharisees in the gospel today,
we wonder what has changed.  
People still place unwarranted burdens on others,
still demand preferential treatment,
still abuse positions of leadership. 
We are ashamed to confess that this does not only happen
in society at large,
it happens also within the church.
Forgive our participation in practices
which inflate our egos at the expense of others.

Pause for silent reflection

Jesus, forgive us when we parade our piety
and expect favoured treatment,
forgetting that you emptied yourself of power
so that you could be the servant and Saviour of all.
Forgive us when we care more for impressive outward appearances
rather than inner dispositions shaped by tolerance and love.

Pause for silent reflection

Jesus, forgive us for any behaviour
which is experienced or perceived as hypocritical—
any actions which lack integrity and justice.
Renew and refresh us with your gentle and selfless Spirit, Lord,
so that we know what it is to be your followers
not only in name, but in reality.   Amen

Assurance of Forgiveness
(based on Colossians 2: 13-14)

Hear the good news:
God has forgiven us all our sins,
erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. 
This God set aside, nailing it to the cross.
In Jesus Christ, therefore, we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

— Copyright © Moira Laidlaw, posted on her Liturgies Online website. Visit that site for other great lectionary-based resources.