Psalm 95

Bethel Music - Love Came Down
Brian & Jenn Johnson - After All These Years
I Exalt Thee
Bryan & Katie Torwalt - Holy Spirit

By Bobbi Salkeld

It is a Lenten practice to not only fast and practice charity, but to also engage in repentance.  For some of us, that word - “repentance” - is familiar and comforting.  
For others, it is stuffy and unfamiliar. 

Either way, I believe that prayers of confession can be for all of us.  

Confession is another name for the act of being really honest with ourselves - the condition of our hearts and the longing of our relationships.  
Confession carves out a place where we can be assured of the depth of God’s love for us, no matter how much we struggle.  

I invite you to consider with me some responses to these questions, 
and then I will walk us through a prayer of confession and words of assurance:

What do I bring with me today that I need to be set free from?  
Perhaps it is worry, or selfishness, or stubbornness.  
Maybe it’s denial, hiddenness, or dishonesty.  
Where do I need to experience a new beginning?
Maybe it’s in how you see yourself, or a loved one.  
Maybe it’s in how you compare yourself to others, or how you just don’t feel quite like yourself these days.  

Let us pray this prayer of confession:

In your presence, Loving God, we confess that we so easily lose our way.
We lose an awareness of your closeness.
We lose our identity as your children.
We lose the connectedness to the world we live in, the world you created and named as good. 

We confess our culpability in the cracks and brokenness we experience. 
We confess that we do not always choose love or extend grace.  
We do not always choose kindness or contentment.  
We do not always stop ourselves from speaking or defending, so that we can listen and learn. 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Now, hear these words of assurance:

You worship and follow a God who forgives you,
Christ who renews you,
And the Spirit who enables you to grow in love. 

Be freed and be made new this Lent as you journey with Christ, AMEN.

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks on this day. Because all blessing we have comes from you. Teach us to be a reflection of the blessing and grace that you show us.
Thanks be to God,

Sermon By The Sea