Confession: How to Love

Here’s an act of confession from Thom Shuman’s Lectionary Liturgies blog.  It is inspired by Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and Matthew 12:28-34, two of the suggested scripture readings for Proper 26 B (the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost).

Call to Reconciliation 

The world teaches us many ways to love,
but all are based on selfish desires and needs.
God teaches us how to love: completely, uniquely, unconditionally.
Let us confess our difficulty in loving as God teaches us,
as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession 

We are hesitant to confess, Holy God,
how hard it is to love as you wish.
It is easy to love you with all that we are,
except when you ask us to love our neighbor with all that we have.
We find it hard to love our neighbor,
when it is linked to the way we love ourselves.
And it is difficult to love anyone—even You—
more than we love ourselves. 

Forgive us, Love Eternal.
As you took a risk in creating us,
help us to take risks to love others compassionately,
to love ourselves genuinely,
and to love you as completely as you love us
in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon

In God's Kingdom, all are loved for who they are,
not what they do;
In God's Kingdom, all are forgiven for what they do,
and don't;
in God's Kingdom, all are welcomed and fed
by God's grace and hope.
Forgiven, loved, sent forth—
we are not far from God's Kingdom!
Thanks be to God. Amen.

~ written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies.