Sep 13, 2012

Confession: Proper 21 B


Here’s a prayer of confession and words of assurance based on the suggested scripture readings for Proper 21 B (the 18th Sunday after Pentecost).  It was written by Moira Laidlaw.

Prayer of Confession
(inspired by Esther, Mark 9:38-50)

Today, O God, we ponder what you say to us through scripture and wonder what has changed. In the story of Esther, we hear about the abuse of power and the exploitation of women. We learn about the planned destruction of foreigners in the land. Each of these issues concern the use of power to take advantage of those who are powerless - major causes still of people being denied the possibility of experiencing lives of dignity and worth.

Forgive us if our actions, or lack of action,
have contributed to continuing powerlessness in people’s lives.

(A time of silence to contemplate these words.)

In today’s gospel reading the disciples want to make decisions about “who’s in” and “who’s out” among Jesus’ followers. It sounds all too familiar as we often make similar decisions on the basis of people’s theology; their sexual preference; their cultural background; their political stance.... (conclude with local examples).

Forgive us if our actions, or lack of action,
have contributed to whether people feel welcomed into,
or excluded from, our fellowship.

(A time of silence to contemplate these words.)

Jesus declares that those who are welcoming and caring and do not cause others to stumble, are indeed blessed.  We are to be ‘salted’ with the purifying influence of the Holy Spirit, so that we shall not be contaminated by selfishness and self-seeking, by resentment and anger and envy.

Forgive us if our actions, or lack of action,
have contributed to whether we are “salty” followers of Jesus or not.

(A time of silence to contemplate these words.)

Strengthen us all to witness to our faith
with a freshness that attracts;
a sincerity that convinces,
and an integrity which confirms our allegiance to Christ, 
in whose name we pray. Amen

Assurance of Forgiveness (James 5:13-20)

James entreats us to “confess our sins to one another, and pray for  one another, so that we may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

We have confessed our sins to one another, and to God,
and we believe that prayer is powerful and effective.
In that belief, I declare to you,
in Jesus Christ we are healed and forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

~ written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted on Liturgies Online.  http://www.liturgiesonline.com.au/