I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord, but rather in the conversion of the wicked, that they may live. Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Return to the Lord, your God, who is gracious and merciful. God does not deal with us according to our sins, nor are we punished according to our iniquities.
Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. Rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord your God who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and tender mercy.
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth from his chamber, and let the bride out of her closet.
Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, “Where is their God?”
Then will the Lord be jealous for his land and pity his people. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sins.
Lord, may your people turn again to you and serve you with all their hearts. With confidence we have asked for your help; may we now know your mercy and love in our lives.
Father of infinite mercy and compassion, we recognize the truth of your persistent love and acceptance. We recognize our frailties and limits in finding the inner harmony and personal integrity for which our human hearts so ardently yearn. By the power of your Spirit, help us to turn to your Son, Jesus, ever present in the community of faith, for the reconciling power he alone can give. Heal the wounds and hurts that divide us.
Renew our minds and hearts as people bound to you in covenant. Let us experience a genuine inner conversion from the paralysis of sin so that with all your saints we may live in the freedom of your children, acknowledging the dominion of Jesus’ power in our lives.
May we find in confession and forgiveness an experience of worship in spirit and truth, so that we may ever proclaim our thanksgiving of your healing acceptance and transforming love.
Since we have been raised with Christ, let us set our hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Watchword for the Week
Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.
Watchword for Today
Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record?
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Prayer for Today
Almighty God, ever-present and all-knowing, we cannot thank you enough for being ALL to us. We thank you for your kindness, bearing our sorrows, and holding us in your heart. For that, we are forever grateful. Amen.