There are traditions that include prayers of confession, assurance of pardon and statements of beliefs in each of their worship services. In our tradition that is not the case. Are we missing something by leaving these out?
I don't want to get stuck in a routine that is forced by a 'tradition' of prescribed prayers or creeds. However there are some great truths for Christ-followers to be reminded of by examining these ancient items. Here are three items that I challenged you to read over as you prepare for Christ-centered worship this weekend.
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. AMEN.
Prayer of Confession
God our Lord and Creator, we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed: we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbor as ourselves. But you have kept faith with us. Have mercy on us; strip us of all that is un-Christian; and help us to live up to our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
(Based on I Timothy 1:15 and I Peter 2:24)
Hear the good news! The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might be dead to sin, and alive to all that is good. I declare to you in the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. This is the Good News of the Gospel, therefore let us sing to the glory of God.