Jan 28, 2012

Confession: Epiphany 6B

Here’s a prayer of confession and declaration of forgiveness inspired by two leper stories: Mark 1:40-45 and 2 Kings 5:1-14.  They are two of the suggested scripture readings for Epiphany 6B (February 12, 2012).  They were written by Moira Laidlaw.

Prayer of Confession

God of grace and goodness, your mercy comes to us in ways that continually surprise us, for you appear to offer such mercy with no strings attached which is so different from the way we so often act and live. Naaman's wealth was of no consequence in his healing and the leper's exclusion from society was no barrier to his being healed by Jesus.  Such acts of grace sadly call many of our actions into question as we, too often, place conditions on our love and our acceptance of many people within our communities. The list of people we exclude could be endless: doubtful educational standard; wrong political persuasion; unacceptable racial background; single parent; AIDS victim.  Perhaps our greatest sin lies in believing that we know where the boundaries of divine love and mercy are drawn.

Forgive us, O God, when we deprive people of the love we owe them as people unconditionally loved by you.

Help us to see people with Jesus' eyes and to be moved by his compassion so that we become active and fearless bearers of healing and mercy. Empower us with your Spirit to be barrier-breakers rather than barrier-builders and remind us, if necessary over and over, that nothing can separate us, or others, from your love as we experience it in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Saviour.  This we pray in his name.  Amen

Assurance of Forgiveness

As the man with leprosy, considered unclean by society, was made clean by a touch and a word from Jesus, so we are cleansed from all unrighteousness through belief in him.  Friends, believe and live the good news:  In Jesus Christ we are loved, we are cleansed, we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God!

— written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted on Liturgies Online. 

For more worship resources for February 12, 2012 (the sixth Sunday after Epiphany), click on Epiphany 6B in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page. For more prayers of confession/words of assurance on this blog, click on Confession or Words of assurance in the list of “Labels” at the lower right, or see the scriptural Confession Index at the upper right.