Benediction from Psalm 20

1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; 

may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 

2 May he send you help from the sanctuary 

4 May he give you the desire of your heart 

and make all your plans succeed,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Assurance of pardon for a communion Sunday

Brothers and sisters, God does not leave us in our sin and shame. He does not abandon us to our self-centered decision-making. We prefer to starve ourselves on the world’s bread that cannot satisfy. But at this table, our God provides us with the Bread of Life. Jesus feeds our souls, knowing just what we need. He said in John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. Anyone who eats of this bread will live forever.” Through his pierced and broken body, we are made whole. In Christ and through Christ alone we are forgiven, and therefore we rejoice! Amen.

Assurance of Pardon from Psalm 51:9-12

The Lord has hidden his face from our sin. He has blotted out all of our iniquity. For Christ Jesus, the Perfect suffered for the imperfect, the sinless became sin for the sinner. We are forgiven and freed to live in a right relationship with God. He has created within us a clean heart and renewed a right spirit within us. God has restored our joy and given us a willing spirit to do all that he asks. Brothers and sisters, you are forgiven, indeed! Amen.

God of the Nations: Prayer of Confession

ALL: God of the Nations

Our hearts are often far from you

Our hearts are closed to our neighbor

We stand with our tribe, we keep strangers far away

We hide behind walls, we speak badly of others

These things dishonor you, they break your heart

When we harm instead of heal, we contradict the gospel. 

Prayer of Confession from Psalm 82 and James 1

Father God, too often we show preference to people who are self-motivated, self-made, and self-sufficient. We honor the rich and look past the poor. We invite those with prestige and power to sit in seats of privilege, while we leave the lowly and humble to stand outside and apart. Our hearts are far from you when we respect those who look good on the outside, and we reject those who appear unclean. Forgive us, we pray, for our neglect, for our selfishness of mind and heart. Conform us to your character. Amen.