Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Picture1GATHERING

Gathering Music/Prelude Hymn #187 “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us”

CALL TO WORSHIP

Let us worship God:

God sent Christ into the world
 not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

God’s love endures forever.

God is our refuge and strength, a present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though the waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble.

God’s love endures forever.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Let us pray:

Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and neighbors.  Call forth our prayers and acts of tenderness, and strengthen us to face our mortality, that we may reach with confidence for your mercy; in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

HYMN #166  “Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days” (text of recording adds a verse between 2 and 3 and has a few altered words than the Glory to God Hymnal).

THE WORD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Let us pray:

God of all glory, by the wisdom of your Word
 and the pouring out of your Spirit, let the same mind be in us 
that is in Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

FIRST READING: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

The word of the Lord.  “Thanks be to God!”

SECOND READING: 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

The word of the Lord.  “Thanks be to God!”

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

The Gospel of the Lord.  “Praise to you, O Christ!”

REFLECTION
: Ash Wednesday Reflection  ~ Rev. Dr. Scott T. Crane

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH

What does it mean to believe in
“the forgiveness of sins?”

That because of Jesus Christ, God no longer holds my sins against me. Christ alone is my righteousness and my life; Christ is my only hope.
 Grace alone, not my merits,
 is the basis on which
 God has forgiven me in him.  Faith alone, not my works, is the means by which
 I receive Christ into my heart, and with him the forgiveness that makes me whole.  Christ alone, grace alone, and faith alone bring the forgiveness I receive through the gospel.

Adapted from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Study Catechism, Question 80

INVITATION TO THE OBSERVANCE OF THE LENTEN DISCIPLINE

Friends in Christ, every year at the time of the Christian Passover
 we celebrate our redemption
 through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lent is a time to prepare for this celebration 
and to renew our life in the paschal mystery.  We begin this holy season by acknowledging our need for repentance, and the mercy and forgiveness
 proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Traditionally, we begin this journey with the sign of ashes. 
This ancient sign speaks of the frailty and uncertainty of human life, and marks the penitence of the Christian community.  I invite you, therefore, in the name of Christ, to observe a holy Lent by self-examination and penitence, by prayer and fasting, by works of love, and by reading and meditating on the Word of God.  Let us bow before God, our Creator and Redeemer, and confess our sin:

Hymn “Just As I Am” arr. Glad: The Acapella Project

LITANY OF PENITENCE

Let us pray.

Holy and merciful God, we confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault
 in thought, word, and deed,
 by what we have done,
 and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.  We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.

Have mercy on us, O God.

We have not listened to your call to serve as Christ served us.

Have mercy on us, O God.

We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness: Pride, hypocrisy, and impatience

We confess to you, O God.

We confess to you, O God, our self-indulgent ways and exploitation of other people

We confess to you, O God.

We confess to you, O God, anger at our own frustration and envy of those more fortunate than ourselves

We confess to you, O God.

We confess to you, O God, intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts

We confess to you, O God.

We confess to you, O God, negligence in prayer and worship, and failure to commend the faith that is in us

We confess to you, O God.

Accept our repentance, O God, for the wrongs we have done. For our neglect of human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty

Accept our repentance, O God.

Accept our repentance, O God, for all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us

Accept our repentance, O God.

Accept our repentance, O God, for our waste and pollution of your creation and our lack of concern for those who come after us

Accept our repentance, O God.

Restore us, O God, and let your anger depart from us.

Favorably hear us, O God, for your mercy is great.

Hymn #182 “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”

IMPOSITION OF ASHES

Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the earth.  May these ashes be for us 
a sign of our mortality and penitence, and a reminder that only by your gracious gift are we given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.

In this year of pandemic social distancing, please be invited to impose ashes upon your own foreheads, in your own homes, with the assistance of any who walk this road with you.  As you make the mark of the cross, the traditional words to say are:

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. (Gen. 3:19)

The Imposition of Ashes

Hymn: “And Can It Be” ~ Glad: The Acapella Project

Lenten Litany, Continued

Accomplish in us, O God, the work of your salvation,

That we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of our Savior,

Bring us with all your saints
 to the joy of Christ’s resurrection.

So we make bold to pray the prayer our Savior taught his disciples, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

SENDING

Sending Hymn #: “What Wondrous Love is This”

BLESSING AND CHARGE

May the steadfast love of God, the abundant grace of Jesus Christ, and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit be with you this day and always.

Amen.  

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mt.16:24)

Go, in silence and peace, knowing the cross we bear has begun.

You may leave our Zoom worship in silence.  Zoom Worship on Sunday is at 10:00 AM

About Scottrick

Parent ~ Pastor ~ Poet ~ Author
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