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Lent, Day 30

This prayer was used as a prayer of confession last week at the NEXT Church conference.  It sounds like a prayer from the Iona Community in Scotland, but I'm not sure where it came from.  Here it is:

If we are held back because we worship you as a relic from the past,
a theological concept,
a religious novelty,
but not as a living God,
Lord, forgive us.

If we are held back because our mission is too narrow, focused only on the Church,
as if the cosmos did not matter,
or the whole world
but we forget what's happening in our own backyards,
Lord, forgive us.

If we are held back because we ignore the gifts and insights of others
and make idols of our own ideas,
and of the singularity of our own experience of you,
and we forget that loving you means loving in community,
Lord, forgive us.

If we are held back because we hear stories of struggle
with no intention of sharing the burden of pain,
or behave as if we have no power to change the systems that cause such pain,
Lord, forgive us.

If we are held back because we have identified the misuses of power
but failed to empower the weak,
and doing so, let our won selves off the hook,
Lord, forgive us.

If we are held back because we sing songs of praise
to your creation while defiling the goodness of the earth,
and blame you for the earth's destruction instead of caring fro her as we've been entrusted,
Lord, forgive us.

If we are held back in our churches because our attention to the liturgy<
the preaching, the rituals become a show,
with no space to tell the truth,
or deepen relationships,
or for real fellowship, interdependence or faithful living,
Lord, forgive us.

If we are held back in our lives because we imitate the impersonal systems of the powerful, rather than model ourselves on the communities of the poor,
If we are held back because we take missionary initiatives with pride, assuming we are better and those we serve are worse,
or if we offer hospitality with reluctance and live into fear of one another instead of holy curiosity, 
Lord, forgive us.  Amen. 

Posted by Laurie Weicher at 6:00 AM
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