Thinking Out Loud

September 27, 2018

A Worship Liturgy on Sin and Forgiveness

For the past few months, Ruth has increased her role as a contributor to Christianity 201. For last Sunday, she provided not only text, but two images and two song suggestions. After taking the time to format everything, I decided to share it here as well.

by Ruth Wilkinson

Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said,
“Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins…”
Matthew 26:27‭-‬28 HCSB

There are a number of words in the Bible that are translated to our English word “sin.”

Different words that paint different pictures of different behaviours, but that all have one thing in common — they describe things in our lives that come between us and the God who loves us.

Things like:

  • Missing the target (hamartano) – because sometimes we really do try our best, and still fail;
  • Wandering, going off the path (planay) – because sometimes we stop paying attention, and suddenly realize we’ve gone off course;
  • Defiance, Rebellion (parabaino) – because sometimes we just choose say no to God. Or to say yes to something that is not for our best.

As we take some time to pray through this prayer for forgiveness either out loud or silently,
listen for His still, small voice and what He might want you to see in yourself.

Then take a moment of silence and talk to Him about it.

Lord, forgive me.
For the things I’ve done impulsively, without thinking.
For the things I’ve done gradually, over time.
For the places I’ve gone that I had no business going.
Forgive me, Lord.

For the things I’ve held tightly that I should have dropped or given away,
For the things I’ve given away that I should have held sacred.
For the things I’ve let go that I should have fought to keep.
Forgive me, Lord.

For the things I’ve said or typed, the links I shouldn’t have clicked.
For the times I’ve kept silent or stood off to the side when I should have spoken up.
Forgive me, Lord.

For the ways I’ve used or put down other people, or held myself more highly than I ought.
For the things I’ve taken that were not mine to take.
Forgive me.
Forgive me.
Forgive me, Lord.

This leads to our second word…

There are a number of words in the Bible that are translated to our English word “forgive.”

Different words that paint different word pictures of how God responds when we ask what we have just asked.

Pictures like:

  • Drop, send away (aphiemi) – because He promises to send our sin to the bottom of the ocean, to the depths of the wilderness, never to be even remembered;
  • Cover, make peace (kaphar) – because He reaches his hand to shelter us from the justice we’ve earned and to reconcile us to himself;
  • Pick up and carry (nasa) – because he takes our burden, pays our debt and sets us free.

And says… “You are forgiven. Let’s start fresh.”

April 6, 2009

Setting Our Faces Toward Jerusalem — Part One

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:03 pm

I want to take the five days leading up to and including Good Friday to focus my thoughts completely on Christ and the cross.   It’s easy when blogging to get distracted with lots of other things; and I’ll probably be stockpiling some other links and comments this week, but I think it’s important this week to keep a strong Christ focus.

Today’s post is from the now-defunct blog Lenae’s Back Porch Musings.    Lenae works for a ministry organization and lives in Minnesota.   Her March 29th post was a spoken liturgy or worship resource based on the song “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”   She said it had been used in her church, I am assuming by the copyright that she wrote it herself.

This is a worship resource that we used in our church this morning. It can be used as an introduction to the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.


(Organ, piano, or other instrument[s] quietly plays through When I Survey the Wondrous Cross during the reading.)

Song Reader: This morning we will reflect on the hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died.

Reader 1: Although the crosses that we often see are handcrafted in beautiful stained wood or inlaid with gold, when we truly survey the wondrous cross it is a bloodstained tool of reconciliation.

Reader 2: Paul writes in Colossians chapter 1, verses 19 and 20, For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Song Reader: My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

Reader 1: Oh, that we would pour contempt on our pride and humble ourselves like Christ Jesus.

Reader 2: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Beautiful words from Philippians chapter 2, verses 6-8.

Song Reader: Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my God!

Reader 1: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14). For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ¬ not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Song Reader: See from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.

Reader 2: John Mark surveyed the crucified head, hands, and feet of Jesus and recorded these words in the book of Mark, chapter 15, verses 25-32, It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Song Reader: Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Reader 1: The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns mocking Christ’s claim to royalty. John chapter 19, verses 1-2 reads, Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in the face.

Reader 2: But to God that wondrous cross and crown was a demonstration of His love for us! John 3:16 proclaims this glorious truth: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Song Reader: Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small.

Reader 1: We survey the wondrous cross and wonder what we can give back to God for the blessings He’s poured out on us.

Reader 2: The writer of Psalm 116 poses the same question and gives this response: How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD (Psalm 116:12-13, 17).

Song Reader: Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

Reader 1: We must respond to the amazing love demonstrated on the wondrous cross, by being zealous and faithful in our worship and work for King Jesus.

Reader 2: Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

Song Reader: As we survey the wondrous cross during this season of Lent, let’s humbly and wholeheartedly give praise and thanks to King Jesus. Please stand and sing, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, all four verses.

© 2009, Lenae Bulthuis


The power of this hymn is best reflected in the fact that, as you consider the verses, depending on where you are reading this, three distinct tunes may come to mind, not including the more recent addition of the bridge “Wonderful Cross.”

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