The God to whom we make our confession is the God who loved us so much that God took on the form of a refugee child, choosing to limit the divine, in order to understand us and be with us. Trusting in that love…
We confess that…
- in a world in which every five minutes, somewhere in our world, a child dies as a result of violence.
- in which an estimated 120 million girls and 73 million boys have been victims of sexual violence,
- in which almost one billion children are subjected to physical punishment on a regular basis.
We confess we have failed the true measure of a society in how well we have attended to our children.
That when and where any children are hurt, we, are diminished.
- For our personal acts of violence, through commission or omission against children.
- For the times we have failed to have the faith to imagine a world without violence.
- For the ways we have failed to examen our own consciences for the remnants of prejudice and hate within us,
- For our dependence on and settling for the security of violence rather than the freedom of the one who would embrace a cross.
- For the ways we have succumbed to the powers and their siren songs of violence that have fed our fear for their own personal gain and encouraged our vilification of outsiders and minorities who reminds us of the source of our fear.
- For not hearing your voice
– ‘let the little ones come to me’,
– ‘that the kingdom belongs to such as these’
– and for causing them to stumble.
Friends, In a world of violence and uncertainty, paradoxically, as followers of Jesus, we are always secure. The love of Christ is all we need, and no violence on Earth can take that away from us.
As followers of Jesus, we are safe. Always. In all neighborhoods. In all circumstances. At all times.
So let us with boldness extend this perfect peace to join the Campaign to End Violence Against Children everywhere.
Gracious God, forgive us and renew us.
Use this advent time to smash our cultures of cyclic violence and collective fear,
break open our hearts,
throw open the doors,
open our eyes to your presence
and open our arms wide to welcome you.
God is good! God is faithful! God is merciful!
And God comes to us, in vulnerability, again and again,
as a child,
as a refugee fleeing violence,
who experiences, suffers, and transforms this violence,
to show us how much we are loved.
And how to be free.
Thanks be to God!
– by Marcus Curnow
Beth Merrill Neel https://holdfasttowhatisgood.com/liturgy/prayer-of-confession/
The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children http://www.end-violence.org