Reading: Matthew 4:12-17
12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Gracious God, as we come in prayer to you,
we realise we are a sinful people.
We too need to repent.
Concerned for ourselves rather than others,
consumed with our own problems,
hoarding our resources, selfish with our time, hesitant with our trust, grudging with our mercy, guarded with our love,
We are neither the people you would have us be
nor the people our world needs us to be.
Oftentimes, we are not even the people we ourselves aspire to be.
Forgive us our sins, we pray; hear our silent confessions, O Lord…
Assurance of Pardon
The Lord is good and merciful, and has compassion upon all his children.
Through Jesus Christ, we find grace and mercy, forgiveness and love.
Know this: when you come to God in sorrow for your wrongdoings,
Seeking forgiveness and new life,
God hears your prayer, Forgives your sin, strengthens your heart,
inspires you to heal your broken relationships with others,
and welcomes you into his family, his kingdom, his love.
Thanks be to God! Amen