(Optional: Have ushers hand out small cups with water or juice.)
Leader (raises cup):
Lord, we raise your cup of justice to our lips this day
Knowing that, for we who have not loved as you love,
The sweetness is from you, the bitterness from our own hard hearts.
How many times have we valued only those who look and sound like ourselves?
How often have we laughed at jokes that demean others?
How often have we smiled outwardly and judged inwardly?
Lord, we are afraid of your Cup of Justice.
We do not trust difference
And, when we are truly honest, we know we do not trust you as we should.
Forgive us, we pray.
Help us have the courage to drink deeply of this cup.
Help us raise it by the strength of your love for us and for all your people.
(All God's people drink)
Assurance of Pardon
For by the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.
How great is the grace of God, which he gave to us in such large measure.
(Ephesians 1:7-8, GNB)