Repentance for Straying

For our Lenten worship tonight, via YouTube live stream, I prepared this Liturgy of Repentance. I am preaching on Psalm 23 and highlighting God’s promise of peace. Feel free to worship with us at 7:00 PM (Pacific Time). See the church website for more information on accessing the live stream.

http://www.livingwordlutheranchurch.com

To God be the glory!


Holy God,
Father,
Creator,
Sustainer,
and Good Shepherd.
You give me everything I truly need.
Your provision is unmatched by anything or anyone of this world.
Your supply is endless.
You invite me to come and buy without money and without price.
You give and give and give some more.
For You are the Good Shepherd and I am your sheep.
Yet, I stray from the flock to seek my own.
My wants overwhelm me, and I spurn Your grace.
Fear leads me to stockpile wants that will not save me –
They won’t protect me,
They won’t shield me.
Oh God, I have strayed and gone my own way.
I have sought worthless wants.
Oh my Good Shepherd
retrieve me,
restore me,
revive me,
and lead me in the path of righteousness – repeating Your promises to me. Repeat them without end as I remain in You.
For You are THE Good Shepherd and with you I lack nothing.
All I want is You.
All I need is You.
Keep me close and may Your rod and staff comfort me.
Oh Lord, my God and Shepherd, I repent of my straying.

My Keeper

This is a liturgy of repentance that I wrote for our Lenten worship service tonight. The text for preaching is Psalm 121 as I talk about God’s promise of everlasting keeping. Just think about this: You a sinner – are kept by God – through faith in Jesus Christ. Wow, oh Wow! God is awesome!


I am known by You, for You formed me.
I am known by You, for You knit me together.
I am known by You, for You choose me before I knew myself.
I am known.
I am known by You, for You breathed life into my being.
I am known by You – you know my – everything.
You know my sin.
My failings are known by You.
My shortcomings – they too – are known by You.
Everything – everything is known by You.
And yet – You keep me.
Through Jesus Christ You are my shade at my right hand.
Through Jesus Christ You are my Rock and Salvation.
Through Jesus Christ You keep my going out and coming in.
Through Jesus Christ You keep my life.
My life, oh God, You keep it.
You are my keeper.
My loving keeper.
The sinner that I am – and You keep me.
Oh God, I am unworthy to be kept.
I am unworthy to be treasured by You.
I am unworthy of anything but condemnation.
Oh God, if I am kept by You, I want to honor and worship You.
I want to glorify You.
I want to serve You.
And thus, I confess my shortcoming – my sin – my unworthiness.
Oh Lord, my God, hear my cry: I repent…

Adventing with Peace

The following is the opening paragraph from the sermon I am preaching on Sunday, December 8 — the 2nd Sunday of Advent. The theme is peace that only God can give through the birth of Jesus Christ – our Lord and Savior who is coming again.

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [Matthew 3:2]

Those are the words of Jesus as he prepares his disciples for this eventual departure – a death they do not and can not understand right now. But it is a death that will usher in the peace that Jesus is leaving with them ~ for he is the Prince of Peace as prophesized through Isaiah. It is a peace that goes beyond comprehension. It is a peace that can not be manufactured, copied or imitated. It is a peace that, really, can not even be imagined – only hoped for with complete confidence. And I say confidence because – well – Jesus left it and because God promised it long before the man, Jesus, came on the scene. We talk about peace, but rarely do we pursue it rightly. The world imagines a peace where wars cease, racism is eliminated, discrimination is gone. Governments try to legislate peace. Churches pass meaningless resolutions that claim to eradicate racism. Basically, they try to ban sin which cannot be done by humans. Shalom – the peace that Jesus brings is so much more and is only ushered in through Jesus and the arrival of God’s kingdom. Let our Adventing continue.

Repent

REPENT for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
REPENT and run away from your sins.
REPENT and never stop running.
REPENT and keep on running,
REPENT!
REPENT and strive to know Jesus better and better.
REPENT and long for God’s holy courts.
REPENT and deny your new self your old life; for you are a New Creation.
REPENT and live the Life God has given you through faith.
REPENT!
REPENT and never stop striving for the narrow door.
REPENT and keep on pressing on.
REPENT and not grow complacent in having already obtained it.
REPENT and refuse to work for your old employer – Satan.
REPENT!

Child of God, through Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven.
Isn’t that awesome!!!
Yes?
Now, REPENT…

Liturgy of Repentance ~ Use Me

The following is the Liturgy of Repentance for Lenten worship tonight. The text is Acts 9:1-19; the call and conversion of Saul/Paul. May God use you to bring glory to His most holy name…

Father, You are holy, and thus Your Church is holy.
It is precious to You, for Jesus, Your Son, is the bridegroom.
So precious is his bride, Jesus died for her salvation.
As the Church, we are forever connected to You through Jesus.

We are one with him.
But Your precious Church is under persecution.
Attacked by Satan.
Denounced by the world.
Threatened by governments.
Assaulted by those who hate You.
And even ambushed…by those from within?
Yes! Within!
Oh God, how can this be?
How can members from within be culpable?
Is it I, Lord?
Holy Father, as You shine Your light on me, it is clear.
It IS I.
I have sinned.
Granted, I haven’t dragged people to jail because of the Name,
but I haven’t always spoken well of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Show me my faults.
Convict me.

Forgive me.
Transform me.
Save me.
Use me to bring glory to Your holy name, but first…
Oh Lord, my God, hear my cry: I repent…

Undone

The following is the liturgy of repentance for tonight’s Lenten worship service. The scripture focus is Isaiah 6:1-8 — The Call of Isaiah. God is holy and we are not. In God;s presence; when compared to His moral perfection and purity, we have no standing. In the words of Isaiah, we are undone.

Holy, holy, holy, are You, oh God.
The whole world; all of creation, is filled with Your glory.
YOU are holy and…
I am not. I am but a worm. I am a sinner.
Unworthy
Unclean
In the words of the Prophet Isaiah, Woe is me! For I am lost.
I am undone.
I am undone.
Woe is me, oh Lord, for I have unclean lips.
Woe is me, oh Lord, for I live among those who are unclean.
Woe is me, oh Lord, for I am ruined.
I am undone.
Woe is me.
I am the epitome of uncleanliness.
I have no standing in Your presence, for…
YOU are holy, holy, holy.
But You have made me clean through Jesus.
You have made me worthy.
You have completed me.
You have forgiven me? WOW!
Oh God, I rejoice. Send me. Send…ME.
But first,
Oh Lord, my God, hear my cry: I repent…

Sounding the Alarm

The following is something I wrote as part of the Great Thanksgiving for our Holy Communion liturgy. Themes from the Luke 13:1-9 and Ezekiel 33:7-20 can be found here.

REPENT, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, King of the universe. You sent Jesus to die and rise for our sins and thus You have promised us eternal life through faith in him. May we speak boldly; sounding the alarm; the Good News, that Your Kingdom is at hand. You have called us to repent; to turn from our sinful ways, that Your holy name would be glorified. Oh God, Creator and Redeemer, You are worthy of all praise and worship. May we not hide behind our righteousness, but live in and through that righteousness that others would run to You. And so, because You are awesome and glorious, we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in signing Your unending praise…