No, in all these things we are more than victorious through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
PC(USA) Book of Common Worship
In words of scripture the people are called to confess the reality of sin in personal and common life. Claiming the promises of God sealed in our baptism, we humbly confess our sin…Having confessed our sin, we remember the promises of God’s redemption, and the claims God has on all human life. The assurance of God’s forgiving grace is declared in the name of Jesus Christ. We accept God’s forgiveness, confident that in dying to sin, God raises us to new life.
At First Pres, our confession of sins and the assurance of pardon/forgiveness play an important role in both our Traditional and Heart of Worship services. It is in this prayer, declaration of forgiveness, and response that we are reminded of how we are created and called by God to love one another and our God. We also recognize that we have fallen short of that call. We name aloud the varied ways that we have sinned against God and one another. We express our regret, sorrow, and repentance. We are then reminded that no matter what, God loves us beyond our comprehension and continually seeks to be in relationship with us. While it may feel like a somber moment in the service, in reality, it is an opportunity for authenticity and a celebration of God’s love.
Merciful God, we give You thanks for seeking us out and calling us back again and again to be in relationship with You. Thank You for loving us, for granting us grace and mercy when we deserve punishment, and for allowing us to reset and restart every day. Strengthen us to live and love as You have called us and treat others as we wish to be treated. Amen.