Of any week in this series, this week is one of declaration, for renewal of membership vows or baptism vows, perhaps. Or inviting the congregation to come and make a new or renewed commitment to following the one they call Lord of their lives. “Who do you say that I am?” is a question that needs to be answered regularly in the life of the disciple. This is not an objective question, with a right and wrong answer. This is a subjective question, or perhaps better expressed as a relational question. Who is Jesus for you? Who do you say I am? How do you create space in worship for reflection upon and then declaration of a response to that question?
A Prayer of St Anselm
O Lord my God,
teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you.
Lord, if you are not here but absent, where shall I seek you?
But you are everywhere, so you must be here,
why then do I not seek you?...
Lord, I am not trying to make my way to your height,
for my understanding is in no way equal to that,
but I do desire to understand a little of your truth
which my heart already believes and loves.
I do not seek to understand so that I may believe,
but I believe so that I may understand;
and what is more, I believe that unless I do believe I shall not understand.
-Anselm of Canterbury c.1033-1109
Prayer of Brokenness/Confession
Almighty God, we have failed to do justice. We have failed to show mercy to others but expect it for ourselves. We have forgotten to be kind. Wake us up to see the violence, the injustice and oppression in our world. Call us away from the worldly ways of looking after ourselves and our loved ones, and to Your ways of seeing all of Your people as our kin, all of creation as our home. Forgive us, help us to repent, to turn to You and to live into your ways of justice, peace and mercy. Amen.
Blessing/Assurance of Pardon
God knows our hearts, and God knows when we desire to change how we view the world and how we live. God will help us onto right paths. God forgives us, and restores us, to do God’s work in this world. Know that you are a beloved child of God, and that there is always the time to do something new. Share the Good News.
Benediction (inspired by Psalm 138, Romans 12:1-8)
One: We go into the world as parents of your love.
All: We will be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
One: We will not think more highly of ourselves than we ought.
All: We will go to remember we can’t do it alone.
One: We stretch out our hands.
All: Our Midwife God delivers.
© UCC 2017, https://www.ucc.org/worship_worship-ways