Oh, how the words of confession reverberate the deepest parts of my being.

Most Merciful God–for you alone are God and You alone show mercy that is pure, for you are the source of mercy. It is one of your holy characteristics.

We confess–for surely confession is not an individual act, but communal, for you are relational and so we, your image-bearers, are relational as well. And so together we confess, and we confess because our souls are burdened by the shame and guilt of our sin. We have separated ourselves from your presence and we have hidden ourselves from you. By confessing our sins, we step back into your presence; from the bushes we climb into Your light which reveals all. Search us as we confess:

We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have stored our desires as treasures and hoarded them against you. We have claimed portions of our hearts for us and have barred you from entering within. We want what we choose and not what you have given and placed before us. We have filled our hearts with other things and therefore we have left no room for your love.

We have failed to be an obedient church. The church is to be the body of Christ, but we have dismembered ourselves from you. We have disfigured Your image into our own. We use you as a banner to wave over our own agendas. We do not coexist or support another, but we fight and steal and claim glory that is not ours.

We have not done your will. We are selfish people seeking selfish desires. And when we seek You, we do so in our own terms. We do that which is evil and do not do that which is good.

We have broken your law. You have commanded the way to live for You, we follow that which we set for ourselves instead. We subjugate and advocate a code that You have not written, a code that does not reflect what You have commanded.

We have rebelled against your love. In our shallowness, we reject Your love for we think it is not what we want, though truly it is what we need. We would much rather You give us blessings that we ask for and answer our prayers when we insist upon them being answered in the way we demand. We do not choose You for You, but for what You can do for us. You try to help us as You know that we need, but we fight against and argue and complain. We are not grateful.

We have not loved our neighbor. In selfish pursuit, we do not share that love which You have given freely and abundantly. We refuse to look at those beside us and see them as our brothers and sisters, as people You have chosen to love. We shun those who are different, cast away those deemed incapable.

We have not heard the cry of the needy. We turn deaf ears upon those who cry for help. We curse them as something less. We make excuses to satisfy our justifications for not helping their affliction. We do not help, because we do not want to acknowledge. When we do help, we still hear not their cry, only our own pride, for we help out of our selfish desire to be esteemed.

Forgive us, we pray. We have failed, we admit our failure. Rescue us from ourselves. Redeem us so that we do not carry this crushing burden that sabotages our soul. Purify our desires.

Free us for joyful obedience. And let this forgiveness not come to answer our own desires of self once more. Grant us freedom, not that we might serve ourselves, but that we can willingly choose with happy hearts what is good in Your sight. May we serve diligently because it is our desire to do so.

Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. For only through Christ is this accomplished. He forgives, because He has sacrificed Himself for our forgiveness. He is our Lord, our Redeemer, through Him we find freedom of our sin.

Amen. So let it be. So let it be.

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