Presbyterians Today

SEP-OCT 2016

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40 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 | P r e s by te r i a n s To d ay Sovereign God, in baptism you called us to turn from sin and to turn to Jesus Christ; but we stray from his ways and do not heed your call. Silence Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. In baptism you joined us to Christ in his death that we might be raised with Christ in new life; but we cherish old ways and fail to embrace the risen life of righteous- ness, justice, and love. Silence Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. In baptism you united us with all the baptized who confess your name; but we foster division in the church. We refuse to live as one people, and so fail to witness to your reconciling love before the world. Silence Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. In baptism you call us to ministry in all realms of life; but we refuse the struggle to know your will. We do not nurture the ways of peace. We allow enmity and hatred to grow among us, putting neighbor against neighbor, and nation against nation. We abuse the earth you entrust to our care, and live in discord with all you made. Silence Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. In baptism you sent us to serve with compassion all for whom Christ died; but we ignore the suffering of the oppressed and the plight of the poor. We take bread from the hungry, and will not listen to cries for justice. Silence Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. In baptism you gave us the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us; but we rely on our- selves, and refuse to trust your direction. We spurn your eternal wisdom, prefer- ring the luring ways of the world. Silence Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy on us. Remember the promises you made to us in our baptism, forgive our sinful ways and heal our brokenness. Set us free from all that enslaves us, and raise us to new life in Jesus Christ, that we may be your faithful servants, showing forth your healing love to the world, to the glory of your holy name. Amen. Declaration of Forgiveness Hear the good news! Col. 2:12; 2 Cor. 5:17 In baptism you were buried with Christ. In baptism also you were raised to life with him, through faith in the power of God who raised Christ from the dead. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old life has gone; a new life has begun. I declare to you in the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Amen. Rev. David Gambrell, Ph.D., is associate for worship in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Theology and Worship. He is editor of the journal Call to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching, and the Arts ( call-to-worship-publication/) and co-editor, with Kimberly Bracken Long, of a forthcoming revision to the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (WJKP, 2018). MORE RESOURCES FOR SERVICES OF RECONCILIATION The confessional documents and liturgical resources of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have much to say about the theme of reconciliation. The call to reconciliation appears many times in our 1993 Book of Common Worship. From confessions, to the passing of the peace, to the sending, we are called to be reconcilers over and over again. One of the hidden treasures is a litany of confession written by Harold M. Daniels. This powerful prayer and the declaration of forgiveness that follows make a compelling centerpiece for a service of reconciliation. Confession of Sin A litany for times of reconciliation

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