Call to Worship
“I will search for my sheep,” says the Lord.
Like lost lambs or scattered sheep, the Lord seeks us and calls us home.
“I will gather them from far and near,” says the Lord.
A cherished fold, a beloved flock, the Lord sustains us and gives us rest.
“I will be their shepherd,” says the Lord.
We listen for the voice of the God who seeks us, and follow with devotion and gratitude!
Prayer of Praise
Call to Confession
How often do we ignore opportunities to embody our faith
by neglecting to show Christ’s love to those we meet?
In true repentance, let us confess the ways we have failed to walk
in the ways of righteousness.
Prayer of Confession
God of mercy, who has compassion for the lost and the dearest,
in disbelief and denial, we ask: “When did we see you among us?”
We should have seen you in the classmate on the playground
whom we did not invite to join our game.
Or in the stranger on the sidewalk whom we crossed the street to avoid.
Or in the neighbor at the nursing home, whom we left to carry her pain alone.
We should have seen you in the man begging for work or a warm meal,
in the woman struggling to overcome addiction, in the child seeking refuge from the terrors of violence.
But, instead, we turned away. Forgive us, Lord.
Break our hearts for what breaks yours, and give us compassion and courage
to respond to the suffering of this world.
Assurance of Grace
Thus says the Lord, our God: I will seek out the lost,
and bring back those who have strayed; I will bind up the wounded,
and strengthen the weak. I will feed my sheep with justice.
Hear the good news— Even when we wander,
our Shepherd chases after us, and guides us back with a tender hand.
We are forgiven. Thanks be to God!