Evangelism Sunday – Being witnesses for Christ

Call to Confession

We are a pilgrim people on a journey, deeper into the heart of God, But we stumble. We fall. Still God calls us to arise! Taking all that weighs us down And hinders us from following him., Jesus says, “Come unto me, all you who are heavy laden And I will give you rest for your soul.” You will run and not be weary, walk and not faint. Trusting in the mercies of the Lord, let us confess our shortcomings before God and one another that we might be relieved of all that gets in the way of walking in the freedom of love.

 

Confession of Sin

God of compassion, you created the world through your communion of love, but we prefer to be gods, living for ourselves. Our sin has misshapen the life you intend for us and twisted our world into pain. We damage creation. We hurt one another. We ignore the ache of others. We despair at our own undoing, and sin holds us tight in its teeth. But you, O Lord, unhinged the jaws of death, that we might know your eternal life now. So we beg you: free us from sin’s grip with your prevailing love, that we might be your witnesses, testifying to your eternal love in all we do. We ask this through Christ our Lord and for his glorious dominion. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Who is in a position to condemn?  Only Christ. And Christ was born for us, Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for anyone who is in Christ is of the New Creation. The old is finished, gone! Behold! New life has begun. Friends, believe the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in meditation paying attention to the breath.
  • Let go of all things you are trying to control.
  • Imagine that God has unhinged the jaws of control upon you.
  • How is God calling you to be a witness?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Consider your faith community.
  • Let go of all things the faith community controls.
  • Imagine that God has unhinged the jaws of control upon your faith community.
  • How is God calling your faith community to be a witness?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for sending God’s son to overcome the jaws of death.  Give thanks to God for the gift of forgiveness.  Give thanks to God for any new insights you have received.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 25,  the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

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