During Advent, we’re using a Credo and a Confession that are adapted from materials that our own Sam Christopher shared with me. The Advent Credo comes from Daniel Berrigan, with some changes to make the language more inclusive. The Confession is adapted from a form that Sam and our old friend Father Ben Garren are using at the Episcopal Campus Ministry in Tucson, where Sam is a member of Beloved in the Desert, an Episcopal Service Corps program. I share both the Credo and the Confession here for anyone who wants to use them in their daily prayer and private devotions.
Adapted from Daniel Berrigan
It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss—This is true:
For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life;
It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction—This is true:
I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly.
It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word, and that war and destruction rule forever—This is true:
Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, his name shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, the Everlasting, the Prince of peace.
It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil who seek to rule the world—This is true:
To me is given authority in heaven and on earth, and lo I am with you, even until the end of the world.
It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted, who are the prophets of the Church before we can be peacemakers—This is true:
I will pour out my spirit on all flesh and your children shall prophesy, your youth shall see visions and your elders shall have dreams.
It is not true that our hopes for liberation of humankind, of justice, of human dignity, of peace are not meant for this earth and for this history— This is true:
The hour comes, and it is now, that the true worshipers shall worship God in spirit and in truth.
So let us enter Advent in hope, even hope against hope. Let us see visions of love and peace and justice. Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage: Jesus Christ—the life of the world.
When Christ comes, he will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness, and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Therefore in the light of Christ let us confess our sins.
God of grace and truth, we confess our unworthiness to stand in your presence as your children. Mary accepted your call to be the mother of Jesus. Forgive our disobedience to your will. Your Son our Savior was born in poverty in a manger. Forgive our greed and rejection of your ways. The shepherds left their flocks to go to Bethlehem. Forgive our self-interest and lack of vision. The wise men followed the star to find Jesus the King. Forgive our reluctance to seek you. We have sinned. Forgive and heal us.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.