Confession and Pardon Liturgy

Confession and Pardon: we rush to cheap grace, cry peace when there is no peace

Loving God, as one we confess our failings:

We aim to seek justice, 
but then when it proves too hard, too exhausting, we rush to cheap grace.

We aim to embrace kindness, 
but then snap at loved ones, shut out the stranger, remain ignorant of our neighbor’s needs.

We aim to walk humbly with our God, 
but willfully ignore how our path diverges from Yours.

We cry “peace!” when we mean “compliance!”
We cry “peace!” when we mean “complacency!” 
We cry “peace!” when there is no peace. 


Friends, there is a kindness in God’s justice
that hears out our confessions and liberates us to move forward, to build a new and better world.

God’s Word forgives and redeems us. God’s Breath revitalizes us for the journey. Emboldened by this good news, let us share God’s love with one another. 

I wrote this for a virtual service on June 21, 2020 (7A Proper) centered around themes of oppression, patriarchy, and white supremacy; it explored how our world shapes each of us based on our various identities and what kind of reconciliation is possible between oppressors and the ones who oppress.

We also sang “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” at this service, which I reference in the assurance of pardon (“there is a kindness in God’s justice”). Other references in this liturgy include to Micah 6 and Jeremiah 6:14.

My sermon text was Genesis 21:8-21. My sermon, “No Good Patriarchs – Solidarity with Hagar” can be read or watched here.

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