Most merciful God, we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves.
This is most certainly true. Though it does not mean that we cannot strive to be better- To grow and work for peace, justice, equality, and fellowship. There is much to be done. Yet sometimes we are most captive to the sin of thinking “We can’t do anything to change it.” “We can’t do anything to make it better.” Our acquiescence is a grave sin indeed.
We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
We have sinned when speaking words of hate against our brothers and sisters, God’s children just like each and everyone of us as individuals. We have sinned when not defending our brothers and sisters against others who use hate, bigotry, and ignorance to divide and exclude. We have sinned when we have refused time, and time again, to advocate for our LGBTQA sisters and brothers and join together as One Body of Christ. We have sinned when we have refused time, and time again, in seeing gun tragedy after tragedy to stand up, have conversations, and work for common sense gun control. We have sinned when we have refused to name the reality of gun violence, prejudice of all kinds, racism, sexism, and ageism in worship. How long O Lord, will we give into the sin of acquiescence?
We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
For every ill thought about each other- for different beliefs, political persuasions, sexual orientations, faith understandings, ethnic and cultural identity, Lord forgive us. Forgive us for every moment where we fail to remember that we are all Your Children, created in Your Image. When we do not show love to our neighbor, we do not show love to you.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.
Kyrie eleison: Lord, have mercy. Christe eleison: Christ, have mercy. Kyrie eleison: Lord, have mercy.
Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.
Forgive us for the times when we think there is nothing we can do. Forgive us for the many times where we throw our hands in the air. Give us faith and good courage to act, as you are leading and calling us to do. May we love our neighbors as ourselves through all of our words and deeds. May we comfort the mourning, grieving, and hurting. May we have eyes to see, hearts to feel, hands to hold, ears to hear and listen, minds to think, and souls courageous enough to act and change. Guide us in your ways, Merciful God, and never let us give in to the temptation to think that violent days like today are inevitable and there is nothing we can do about it.
Note: The sentences italicized above are the text for one of the more common texts for confession in worship in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The non-italicized portions are my thoughts today based on the hate crime and terrorism directed at the LGBTQA community in Orlando, Florida. If this is a useful liturgy for you, you have my permission to share and use this with your worshiping community.
Image Credit: Pray for Orlando