Once two zeros were arguing. One was tall and thin, the other short and thick. They argued about which of the two was worth more. Each tried to enhance their values. The tall and thin one presumed that he was the best, and so did the short and fat one. Someone listening to them reminded them that they were both “zero” and were worth the same, that is, nothing.

Sometimes people think that what they do is more important than others. Being a deacon, they say, is more important than being a teacher. Being a man is more important than being a woman, etc. Paul corrects us for that tendency by telling us in 1 Corinthians 3:6: “I planted, Apollos watered; but God has given the growth.” And in Romans 12:3, “I say then, by the grace that has been given to me, to everyone who is among you, that no one has a higher opinion of himself than he should have….” We are all earthen vessels, and our importance is that God notices us. Us and deigns to dwell in us.

Community prayer of confession of sins:

Min.: Kind Our Father, before your sovereign presence, we present ourselves, acknowledging your complete holiness and our total imperfection.

Con.: Hear us, good Lord.

Min.: Good God, You made us glorify Your name and enjoy You forever, but we have chosen to live seeking delight and joy in that which only produces temporary well-being. For that reason…

Con.: Have mercy on us.

Min.: You formed us to live in community and holy coexistence, but we have insisted on making competition our ideal of life. That’s why…

Con.: Have mercy on us.

Min.: You taught us, with the wonderful example of your Son, to be meek and humble of heart, but we have followed the example of those who impose themselves by force and with deceitful tricks. Thus…

Con.: Have mercy on us.

Min.: Today, we want to ask for your forgiveness, but along with it, we want to beg you to pour out your grace on us so that we can be guided to live in true humility.

All: We ask you for the merits of the One who humbled himself to teach us that true greatness lies in service. Amen!

Min.: Come all; the Lord summons us. Draw near before Him; the loving Father invites us with his outstretched hand.

Min.: Sovereign God and our Father, we come before you recognizing our fragility; that’s why…

Con.: We ask you to help us understand how futile our efforts are to understand each of your hidden mysteries.

Min.: Lord, we constantly and consistently draw lines of behavior more similar to our prejudices than your divine norms; that’s why…

Con.: We ask you to forgive and correct our bad behavior from its roots.

Min.: God and Father, we want you to transform our wills. For this reason, we need you to help us to know your perfect, holy, and wise will.

With.: Blessed Lord, embrace us with your grace, captivate us with your love and renew in our hearts your holy desires…

All: We ask this resting on the merits of our Redeemer, Lord, and Master, your loving Son, Jesus. Amen!

 (Prayer of Personal Confession of Sins)

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