written for Second Sunday of Epiphany, Year B
God of love, you know us inside and out.
With you there is no point in hiding or pretending.
You invite us into your presence, and we come as we are.
We confess that we often forget to listen for your voice,
That moments of stillness are few.
We hurry about with our eyes down,
Our minds and hearts and ears closed.
Please, God, do not stop speaking.
Slow us down, lift up our eyes.
Help us to learn to sit at your feet and listen.
We confess that there are times when we have not listened
To those who are lonely or in pain.
We have allowed certain voices to dominate
While others are silenced or ignored.
Please, God, teach us to be generous in our listening
To quiet our own internal chatter
To be fully present alongside one another.
We confess that we have not listened to the earth
Who groans like a woman in labour.
We have not heeded the warnings of a changing climate.
We have ignored the cries of animals, whose fear and pain
are collateral damage in our over-consumption.
Please, God, forgive our greed
And the lies we tell ourselves to justify our choices.
Help us to overcome our destructive habits.
We confess that there are times
When we have used our words to hurt and dehumanise
To lay blame on others and to vindicate ourselves.
We confess that we sometimes speak when we should be silent
And stay silent when we should speak.
Please, God, infuse our words with kindness, with wisdom, with love.
Give us the courage to speak out against injustice.
There is nowhere we can go and nothing we can do
To put us beyond the reach of God’s love.
Thanks be to God!