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Thinking the Faith, Praying the Faith, Living the Faith is written by the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship.

Thinking, praying, and living the faith is at the core of ministry in the Office of Theology and Worship. In the following videos, learn more about what thinking, praying, and living the faith means to the leadership of the Office of Theology and Worship. Discover why it matters and what difference it makes in our lives, work, and worship.  

Charles Wiley  
Barry Ensign-George
David Gambrell
Christine Hong 
Karen Russell

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March 30, 2012

A Prayer of Confession for March Madness

Moving to Louisville in the middle of college basketball season was fantastic timing for this life-long University of Kentucky Wildcats fan.  With both Louisville and Kentucky playing in the Final Four tomorrow, passions in the state are running high.  Every day there is an article published more outrageous than the last:  if it’s not two retirees getting into a fist-fight over their favorite teams at the local dialysis center, it’s the losing fan in a did-I-really-just-shake-on-this bet who has to get a four-inch tattoo of the winning fan’s team.


In between scouring the internet for new proof of my team’s dominance in the tournament, showing off my Sports Illustrated cover to the Cardinals fans I work alongside, and running to the store to buy a new UK shirt for the pep rally at the Presbyterian Center today, I read this verse last night in my one-year-Bible:


But watch yourselves! Otherwise, your heart might be led astray so you stray away, serving other gods and worshipping them.

Deuteronomy 11:16 (Common English Bible)


It convicted me that I have been investing a lot more time and energy into thinking about college basketball than I have thinking about living out my faith in Christ.  I have had many more conversations about basketball than about justice.  My consumption of articles about the tournament has far outpaced the chapters I’ve read from scripture.  I’ve been far more exuberant in sharing my love for the Wildcats than I have in sharing my love for Jesus.  It makes me wonder if (in the words of our verse from Deuteronomy) my heart has been led astray, serving other gods and worshipping them.  It seems all the more striking, given that the church worldwide celebrates Jesus’ march into Jerusalem this Sunday, while many American Christians are much more captivated by the march toward victory Monday night in New Orleans.


If any of this rings true to you, you may want to join me in this prayer of confession:


Lord Jesus Christ,

                We call you Lord,

                Yet it is too easy for us to worship other things.

                                Other activities, other relationships, other gods.


You tell us we cannot serve two masters,

                Yet we spend more time focusing our energies elsewhere,

                                Diverting our time, our energy, our money, our attention away from you.


Forgive us, gracious Savior,

                When our hearts are led astray

When we serve other gods and worship them.


We turn away from our distractions and sin.

Strengthen us to set our faces toward Jerusalem,

                To take up our cross and follow you.


We pray this, counting on your grace.  Amen.



Hear this good news from Romans 8:34 and 2 Corinthians 5:17:


Who is in a position to condemn? 

Only Christ,

And Christ died for us,

Christ rose for us,

Christ reigns in power for us,

Christ prays for us.


Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation.

The old life has gone; a new life has begun.


Know that we are forgiven, and be at peace. 

Tags: confession, idolatry, lordship, theology, worship