a confession for our times

There is always power when we confess our sins as a community, when we take the road of repentance together as we seek to be restorers of the world around us. 

O Lord, we come before your throne with broken hearts and weary spirits. We grieve the loved ones we have lost during this pandemic. We also grieve the deep wounds that this COVID-19 crisis has revealed in our country. We confess Lord that too often we have been absorbed in seeking our own security that we have neglected to care for the poor, those who lack housing, those who are unemployed, and those who struggle to access basic resources because our systems were not created for their flourishing. We have worshiped Complacency and Comfort and ignored our fellow human beings who face discrimination based on immigration status, race, sexual orientation, disability, and other marginalized identities.

As a community, we confess that we have not used the authority and voices you have given us to advocate for those on the margins and not only listen to their stories, but also humbly learn from them and allow them to shape how we live. These are all people created in your image, but Lord our vision has been too narrow and distorted by our anxieties and prejudices. We also acknowledge that many of the privileges we enjoy are at the expense of our black and brown neighbors’ labor, whether in fields or factories or economic institutions here in our city, and we have failed to see them. We have failed to recognize and uphold their dignity.

Lord, we repent as a Church for the ways in which racism has rooted itself in our lives, preventing us from fully honoring our black neighbors’ humanity and loving them. We confess that the Church has too often been passive and silent before the killing of black people and the suffering experienced by our black sisters and brothers. We have been slow to act instead of being at the forefront leading efforts to confront the corruption in our nation’s policies, in our industries, in our social institutions, in our churches, and in the ways in which we as individuals have personally harmed our black sisters and brothers with our actions and our inaction.

Our nation was sown in blood and death, and we choose to recognize the bitter fruit of oppression that we have reaped. We choose to see the fruit of mass incarceration and deferred dreams and bodies forbidden to breathe. Lord, give us the courage and humility to reckon with our sins as a nation and as a Church. May we not turn away and go on as “normal” because the normal we knew is violence to our neighbors on the margins. Renew our vision so that we can examine our histories with clarity and collaborate across our differences to forge a future where we can say with confidence that all lives truly matter. 

You have not called us to be safe or to conform to the patterns of this world. As a community united under Jesus, we reject the pattern of white supremacy in America and choose to be an active part of your redemptive plan. Transform us and our world so your kingdom of justice and equity and love is brought here to Earth. We know it is not here in full form, Lord, and we long for Jesus’ return. We cry out to you for deliverance. Rather than surrendering to despair, we ask for the strength and endurance to engage injustice with hope informed by the Gospel. 

Lord, we commit our confessions into your hands and receive your grace. Let your favor be upon us, and establish the work of our hands so we can be witnesses and courageous contributors to the renewal of all things. To you be all the glory and power. Amen. 

 

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