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Showing posts from March, 2015

The Cost of Easter

Image
Thus we enter into the foreboding of Holy Week. Now that Jesus's ironic and triumphant entrance into Jerusalem via the road of heroic past conquerors on an untamed and young colt has been acknowledged in our worship services, we await with some dread knowing what is to come. 

I don't think that Easter is worth celebrating if we don't take time to acknowledge its cost. Yes, the cost of Jesus' passion is a part of this road we are on in Holy Week; but there is another cost to consider. 

The cost of looking straight in the eye of evil.

That evil isn't a convenient figure we can distance ourself from with names and images--the kind of evil we are confronted with in Holy Week is the depth of evil to which all of us are susceptible. The kind of evil I am talking about is the frenzy that can take a hold of a crowd to the point of shrieking CRUCIFY HIM! 
("GOD HATES FAGGOTS!" "NUKE THOSE RAGHEADS!")

The kind of evil I am talking about is the self-righteous a…

Gethsemane

An intercessory Litany reflecting on Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.



Lord Jesus Christ, as you prayed in the garden while experiencing real human fear,
help those whose lives are full of terror.


As you experienced real human dread for the pain and suffering yet to come,
help those who are suffering and are in pain.


As you awaited the time when you would confront religious and political authorities,
help those who lead in the world today to do so with justice and love.


As you prayed in the garden and your disciples succumbed to sleep,
help us stay awake to the world around us, and to each other.


As you made peace with God about your inevitable death on the cross
help us remember and celebrate those who have already bowed to death in our lives.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.




"Wash us, O God"

A Confession in the Spirit of Psalm 51


Wash us, O God.

We confess that we are stained by our actions and inactions.

Wash us, O God.

We confess that we are unclean in our thoughts, words, and deeds.

Wash us, O God.

We confess that we are wounded in how we have not loved our neighbor, and how we have refused the reality that they are all around us.

Wash us, O God.

We confess that who we are on the outside is often clean and who we are within is messy, untended and overlooked.

Wash us, O God.

Create within us hearts that are perfectly clean and perfectly loving. Put within us spirits that hunger and thirst for righteousness. For we need your grace to become the children you made us to be.

Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.

An Inclusive Invitation, Confession, and Pardon

Invitation
Christ is radically hospitable and it is in this spirit of hospitality that we are invited to Christ’s table.  May those who earnestly seek reconciliation with God, and seek to find peace with all who are around them, be made welcome here as we confess to one another our sins.
Confession
Living, Saving, and Loving God, we confess that we have sinned against you in speech, intent, and action; we manage, in creative ways, to blind ourselves to your love for us, and others. 
As a community, we have deliberately cast out and ostracized our brothers and sisters—or been complicit in their persecution with our apathy. 
We knowingly and unknowingly participate in  unjust systems, choose to measure our own goodness to models that are not Christ, and have watched as others have been persecuted while we do nothing in response.  We have not lived up to your call to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger or visit the imprisoned.  We have not always lo…
A confession based on Ephesians 2:1-10:



We are what God has made us.
We confess that we do not always live into God’s image.
We have been children of wrath.
We confess that we have done harm in thought, word and deed.
We have been children of apathy.
We confess that we have not loved our neighbors and have not heard the cry of the needy.
We have been children of disobedience.
We have rebelled against your love and broken your law.


We come before You, divine parent, knowing that we have not lived into the image in which you have made us. We are truly sorry, and humbly repent.

Confession "Often we do not"

The lectionary psalm for March 8 is Psalm 19. 
Here is a Lenten confession in the spirit of this Psalm:


The heavens are telling the Glory of the Lord
We confess that often we do not.
In our unwillingness to see the beauty of God’s creation
We confess that we allow for its abuse.
We have not been good stewards of creation
We confess that we have not valued the resources with which we are blessed.
We have not been good neighbors
We confess that we have not loved one another as we ought.
We have harmed each other through our deeds
We confess that we have also harmed each other in our inaction.
We confess that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts have not always been pleasing to you, our Rock and Redeemer.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.