Home Equipping Leaders African American Growing in Love: 21st Century Liturgy for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

Growing in Love: 21st Century Liturgy for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

Growing in Love: A Gathering Meditation
(For Matthew 22:34-46)

People of God
Growing in love
Loving God
Heart, mind and soul
Extending love
Across the pews
Across the street
Across the miles
Across the ocean
Loving God
Loving neighbors
As we love ourselves
People of God
Growing in Love.

Prayer of Confession
(For Matthew 22:34-46)

God, today, we confess our need to be more loving. To love you, with every fiber of our being. To love you with mind and thoughts. To love with actions and words. To be so motivated by love that we turn away from breaking your heart.

God, today, we confess a great need to love one another more deeply. To care about the well-being of souls we know and to love people we will never meet. With humiliation, we confess that we have, at times, falsely granted ourselves permission to hate or fight with the people we have pushed outside the circle. We have turned a blinded eye to the stranger in our midst and have forgotten that we, too, were once strangers. Forgive us, God, and teach us how to receive every person you have made as neighbor and friend.

Alas, God, we confess great difficulty in learning to love ourselves, to appreciate the human beings you have created us to be, to forgive ourselves when we make a mistake. Sometimes, we are quick to despise the gifts of family, the gifts of experience or social location, or the gifts of kinship inherited at our birth. We are slow to recognize the gifts that you have given each of us for the common good and quick to covet the gifts of another. God, forgive us.

Dear God,
Forgive us and teach us
To love you with heart, mind, and soul,
To love our neighbors without reservation,
To live in peace with those with whom we disagree.
And to serve you without hesitation. Amen.

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