Blessed assurance


Graffiti on graffiti  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 
 
Assurance is one of the synonyms for trust (noun).

Searching for assurance on re-worship.blogspot.com I came across many references to Words of Assurance (of forgiveness), often used in the service after a time of confession.

Here are some words of assurance written by John Birch – assurance that goes a lot deeper than feelings alone as it is based on the character and love of God.


Confession and forgiveness

(A moment or two of quiet where we might make our silent confession to God)

‘Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against him.’
(Romans 4:7-8)

 
For your embracing love
a Father’s love
a Mother’s love
The love that sees our failings
and forgives us
The love that sees our joys
and embraces us
The love that knows no ending
or beginning
The love that could die for us
and did
We bless you.
We bless you!

— written by John Birch, and posted on http://www.faithandworship.com/


From the blog:
Forgiven and forgotten

A new nature


(Photo: Irene Bom)
 

Walking through the Trompenburg Gardens and Arboretum in Rotterdam I came upon this cracked stone table, with moss growing in the grooves, marking the damage and in some way repairing it.

It reminds me of kintsugi, the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery, with beautiful seams of gold filling the cracks, visibly incorporating the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it.

Here is a prayer of confession by Cheryl Lawrie that invites us to bring the cracks in our lives and in our world to God for his radical restoration.

This is the first post in the new series, “Nature”.
 

Prayer of Confession

(inspired by Mark 1:21-28)

God,
we thank you for this extraordinary world
and its reminders of resilience, grace, hope and life:
for when grass shoots break through concrete
when the sun emerges after storms
for when people offer laughter in deep sadness
In these moments we see glimpses of who you are –
and we are grateful.

Yet if we reduce you to being like the cycle of nature
or the best of humankind,
we diminish your power to make the impossible real:
to break apart the impenetrable evils of oppression,
to cast out the very real fears that paralyse us
to banish the insidious demons of judgement and worthlessness.

Forgive us God when we do not trust you to deal with the unspeakable awfulness in our lives and world. In the silence we name the parts of our lives and our world that we believe are too broken to ever be made whole.

Cast out our demons, Lord,
Make us new again

Forgive us when we contribute to the brokenness of the world and the lives of people around us. In the silence we name the things we have done that separate us from you and from others.

Cast out our demons, Lord,
Make us new again

Forgive us when we trust darkness more than we trust your light. In the silence we name the things we think we need to keep hidden.

Cast out our demons, Lord,
Make us new again

Scripture says that those who are in Christ are a new creation;
everything old has passed away;
see, the new has come!

Hear then Christ’s word of grace to us:
‘Your sins are forgiven.’

Thanks be to God.

 
~ written by Cheryl Lawrie and posted on [hold this space].


see also
Theme: God makes all things new (Prayer sheet)
3 Prayers for endings and beginnings