Under the gaze of God: Confession for Pentecost – Acts 2:1-12

Altar Frontal - Winchester Cathedral

We normally have an awesome open-air service for Pentecost out in the blazing sunshine. This year we had what I’m told was an awesome service… inside!

It fell to me to lead this year, with a Reader colleague preaching using the ideas of fire, wind and water. Part of his focus for fire was as a purifyer, so it seemed obvious to follow into a time of confession after this part of his talk.

Yet, when I came to peruse the options of Common Worship I found, that even with the help of James Ogley (a fellow member of the Twurch Of England also from my Diocese) I couldn’t find anything from Common Worship Times and Seasons (starting p483), or New Patterns for Worship, that I felt was suitable for the service (All Age format), and linked with what the reading and talk ideas suggested.

I love the creative act of putting together liturgy from different resources, but it has to be just right, and if I can’t find what I think will help people meet with God, I tend to write it myself! This may or may not get me drummed out of the Church of England 🙂

So here’s the prayer of confession I came up with. It came with a sort of free-form introduction. Feel free to use it, or comment, or point me in the direction of something else or authorised!

Do you ever get the feeling your being watched?
Someone who’s looking at you like they know what you’ve done, what you’re thinking?

Well God does… I sure that as the disciples tried not to run away and hide, but waited and prayed in Jerusalem, God was watching them, willing them to be strong and faithful to Jesus’ command to ‘wait for the gift my Father promised’.

God knows how faithful to him we are; as we feel his gaze we’ll know ourselves as he sees us, and know where we fall short.

Dear God,

We feel your loving gaze upon us,
and know our fears, our doubts and our lack of faith.
As we notice the trust that others have placed in your promises,
we recognise our own lack of trust in your faithfulness to us.
As we see and hear your word proclaimed for all to hear,
we remember the times when we have not told your story.

We are not just sorry,
but ask that you might purify us,
so that we might be found whole in your presence.

But God’s gaze is not destructive, he wants to leave us whole, and renewed in our relationship with him so that we can be recognised in the world as people who love him.

He pours out his love over us so that only what is wrong is burnt away through his forgiveness, to leave us whole.

(I concluded with Absolution B77 from New Patterns For Worship)


One comment

  1. “Do you ever get the feeling your being watched? Someone who’s looking at you like they know what you’ve done, what you’re thinking?”

    Every time I run into a CCTV operator.


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