Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you. God of love, at the foot of the cross we confess our violence, our desire to make others carry our suffering. Forgive us.
We confess our fear, our illusion of our unworthiness, our anxiety to justify ourselves rather than to love. Forgive us.
We confess our self-centeredness: that other people become means or obstacles to our ends instead of people, sacred and beloved. We hurt and judge, we exploit and dehumanize. We think that we or others are unworthy. We betray your love in us and we crucify. Forgive us.
At the foot of the cross we behold this mystery: that broken as we are, we are sacred and beloved, and you cherish us. In our darkest violence you forgive us. In our deepest shame you give yourself to us. In our most adamant betrayals you are one with us.
At the foot of the cross give us the gift of sorrow, the wisdom of an unflinching gaze. Bless us, that we may know our brokenness, that we may receive your presence, that we may accept your forgiveness, that we may be transformed by your love.
We pray for those whom we have hurt, and bless those who have hurt us. We ask and receive forgiveness of all. We seek only to trust, only to love, only to heal and to be healed.
At the foot of the cross, may we die to our fear, our self-centeredness, our separation from others. Take our old, mean lives and give us new ones, tender as new green shoots, lives of grace, lives of love, mercy and tenderness.
At the foot of the cross, O gentle God, may we die with Christ, that you may raise us up in love.
Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve
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