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Sarah, Seeking

Thoughts and Prayers and Poetry

Blue Christmas: Confession

This was our third year hosting a Blue Christmas service - a worship where we provide space for the difficult emotions of the holiday seasons. Because I think we could all use the opportunity to name the places where we are struggling, this week I'm going to post the reflections and prayers I wrote for the service we had on Sunday December 20th. This is part 3.

I recommend listening to Only Grace by The Many as we did at this point in our service on Sunday.

Making Space for Confession

When we are sad, when we are fearful, when we are angry,

when we are burdened by stress and soaked in grief

our vision blurs, we see others less clearly.

Our compassion, our patience, our grace can run out

So we acknowledge, as we name the places of pain in our lives,

the pain we have caused others.

The holidays themselves can be a time of remembering past wrongs

A painful reminder of broken relationships

Harm we have caused in the past.

In the same way, as we come to the end of this year,

as we mark the passage of time,

we are often invited to reflect.

How have our actions, our choices, our values,

caused pain – known and unknown – for others?

We also are called to look beyond ourselves.

When we tell the Christmas story,

can we acknowledge the ways our society

would fall short of welcoming baby Jesus today?

We take the time now to confess our sins.

To repent.

To acknowledge just as we carry pain caused by others,

We have also been the cause of pain.

Let us pray.

God of grace,

You know our pain, our grief.

You also see the pain and grief we have caused others.

We confess that our words have become weapons.

Sharing judgment, hate, and anger.

We confess that our actions have been selfish.

We have chosen comfort and control over love of neighbor.

O Lord, have mercy on me.

We confess that we have been impatient, fearful, and angry,

we have struggled to show compassion to ourselves and others.

We pray we can be opened to your unconditional love,

so that we may share your grace with others.

O Lord, have mercy on me.

We confess that sin can cause ripples of pain,

hidden from us but not from you.

We pray your redeeming grace will be known

until the waves become still.

O Lord, have mercy on me.

We confess we have not always made room for Christ,

Or those he calls us to love

We confess we have been unfaithful to your will;

we have turned away from those in need.

O Lord, have mercy on us.

We confess our part in structures that perpetuate injustice,

as we remain silent and unmoving.

We pray that we might be called to action

when others cry out in pain due to our communal sin.

O Lord, have mercy on us.

For what we have said and left unsaid,

For what we have done and left undone,

O Lord, forgive us.

Moment for Silent Reflection

Assurance of Forgiveness

God, who came to us as a vulnerable child,

receives our vulnerability and our confession.

God, who calls us beloved children,

forgives us and grants us mercy.

Thanks be to God.

Thanks be to God.

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