A litany of repentance
Leader: Jesus calls us to love one another as he loves us.
Person 1: We know from our experience that loving like that is a risk, a risk we are often not willing to take. Why should we risk anything for the unlovely?
Leader: "To love one another ... as he loves us" - even to the extent of the cross, risking everything, and receiving ridicule, pain and death.
People: God, forgive us. We will try to love as you love us.
Leader: Jesus calls us to forgive one another.
Person 2: We have forgiven in the past, and people walked all over us. For some of us it hurts too much to try again. Besides, if people do wrong shouldn't they pay the consequences for this.
Leader: Jesus forgave us, our ignoring him, reviling him, killing him.
People: God, forgive us. We will try to forgive as you forgive us.
Leader: Jesus calls us to work for justice for all.
Person 3: But we don't have the time. The issues are often too hard to understand properly. Others are far more able speakers than us.
Leader: Through the prophets God makes it quite clear: "stop your noisy songs, instead let justice flow like a stream, and righteousness like a river that never goes dry."
People: God forgive us. We will try to work for justice as you did.
Leader: Jesus calls us to share all we have with each other.
Person 4: This is too hard. It's hard enough to keep our own heads above water. We have worked hard to get where we are today, and the possessions we enjoy.
Leader: Jesus says: "Whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me."
People: God, forgive us. We will try in your strength to share what we have.
A prayer based on Colossians 1
Jesus, in dying you took on the pain of the whole of creation
Its labour pains became yours as you struggled on the cross
To bring the new kingdom to birth.
Your arms on the cross embrace the whole world in reconciling love
Offering healing to our polluted planet
And forgiveness to us, the polluters
Your resurrection life greens our world with the promise of a new spring
Renew us we pray, so that we might renew our world.