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Ash Wednesday

Worship
Lectionary Worship Aids
Cycle B, Series IV
Call To Worship
Leader: Let all who have received God's mercy come in repentance this day.
People: For even as we have been forgiven we have sinned before the Lord.
Leader: God calls to the faithful to repent and come before the Cross.
People: For at the Cross we are again washed clean.
Leader: And at the Cross we were called into the family of Almighty God!
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Collect

O God, even though we are sinners, in Your mercy You have called us to repent and become members in Christ of Your family. Lead us, O Lord, back into Your ways. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Prayer Of Confession

Lord, in the passing of the days we have each again fallen short of the glory and blessings You intended our lives to be. Forgive us, Lord, and help us to return our focus to the cross and to turn our ways back to Your ways that we might bring honor and blessings to Your Holy Name. Through Christ our blessed Lord and Redeemer we lift our prayers. Amen.

Hymns

"Blessed Assurance"

"Yield Not Temptation"

"I Need Thee Every Hour"





Ash Wednesday

Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10
Theme: Faithful servants unto the Lord

Call To Worship
Leader: Let us come together, all who are brothers and sisters in Christ.
People: For Christ died that we might have eternal salvation.
Leader: Then let us live in the ways the Lord taught us to live.
People: And let us set our hearts to choose the ways of Christ each day.
Leader: For the true followers of Christ Judgment Day will bring glory.
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Collect

O God, through the prophets You called the nations to repent. Through Christ You call us each one to repent and turn to follow Your will. Lord, sustain us and lead us home to You. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Prayer Of Confession

Lord, so often in the everyday matters of living we have allowed ourselves to slip little by little and day by day away from the paths You have called us to walk. Forgive us, God, and open our spiritual eyes that we might again see where we have fallen short, and help us to recommit all that we are to being the best servants we can be. In Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.

Hymns

"Rescue The Perishing"

"O Master, Let Me Walk"

"Take My Life"




Ash Wednesday

Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Theme: Personal repentance

Call To Worship
Leader: Come, let all who would follow Christ gather this day and repent.
People: Let us weigh the goals in our lives and know our innermost heart.
Leader: The Lord has called us to be true and in all things to be faithful.
People: Then let us set our hearts upon the ways of the Lord.
Leader: And let our hearts be filled with joy for God's redeeming grace.
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Collect

O God, in Your love and wisdom You have called us to repentance not for punishment but that we should know eternal joy. By Your strong and gentle hand, Lord, lead us back to Your fold. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Prayer Of Confession

Lord, You have called each of us to be faithful and in Your mercy and grace granted us each Your eternal life. But we have each fallen and failed You, and we have each chosen to go our own ways. Forgive us, Lord, and once again open our hearts to Your divine guidance that You might draw us back to Your loving care. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Hymns

"He Leadeth Me"

"Pass Me Not"

"Just As I Am"

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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Quantisha Mason-Doll
George Reed
Elena Delhagen
For February 25, 2024:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Coffin
It is the second week into the Lenten season. Fat Tuesday’s paczkis and beer celebrations are far into the rearview mirror now. Some grocery stores are already putting Easter candy onto their shelves in hopes of early sales before the actual holiday. However, Lent is the season to exercise our faith muscles. We never know when we will need them. A health, financial or natural weather disaster crisis can occur at any time of the year. Each of today’s texts is an exercise in stretching our faith muscles. Abraham is being called into a new covenant after the one made with Noah (Genesis 8-10).
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Abram despairs because God’s promises have been so long delayed, he doubts they will come true. God’s response is not only to repeat the promise, but to give Abram and Sarai very slight name changes, to Abraham and Sarah. This slight alteration changes their perspective. God’s promises do come true.

StoryShare

John E. Sumwalt
For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith… For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants… (vv. 13, 16a)

We live by faith! Faith, as the author of Hebrews says, is “The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

CSSPlus

John Jamison
Object: One piece of clear glass and one mirror. I found a piece of clear Plexiglas and a plastic mirror at a local box store. Both pieces were one square foot, which is a good size to use in this message.

* * *

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus said, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." In our worship today let us explore what it means to take up our cross and follow him.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, like Peter, we don't always understand what we should do.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, we often try to avoid any suffering.
Christ, have mercy.

SermonStudio

Stan Purdum
(See Good Friday, Cycle A; Good Friday, Cycle B; and Proper 23/Pentecost 21/Ordinary Time 28, Cycle C, for alternative approaches.)

We will meet Psalm 22 in its entirety on Good Friday, but here the lectionary designates just verses 23-31. The lectionary psalms generally illuminate the week's First Lesson, which in this case is about the covenant initiated by God with Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 17. The nine verses from this psalm, while not inappropriate, nonetheless leave us looking for an obvious connection with the First Lesson.

Mark J. Molldrem
A friend related to me how, when he was a youngster, he spent a lot of time on the other side of the block all wrapped up in touch football and whiffle ball and hide-and-go-seek. But there were other important events going on for which his folks knew he needed to be present, like going to church, mealtime, bedtime. So, they blew a whistle to call him home from the other side of the block.
Donna E. Schaper
Some gardeners can grow everything and others cannot. Sweet peas are a particularly difficult plant for some. They sprout two little leafs and a withered string of a hand reaching up. Then they stop growing. Something underneath is wrong. In the soil. Down deep. They don't want to live.

People who have trouble with sweet peas try over and over to grow them. They load the soil with enough chicken manure to fertilize five gardens, much less the five square feet where they'd like to see light pink and purple and sweet.
Paul W. Kummer
What names did people call you as you were growing up? What nicknames did your parents or grandparents saddle you with? I hope most of the names were endearing. But were others nasty or hurtful? Were you given a nickname because of how you looked or how you talked? Because of where you lived or what you wore?

Did anyone ever give you a name because they felt they knew what your future would hold? If so, did that spur you on in your destiny or did it hold you back and discourage you? Did they nickname you in honor of what they believed you would become? I hope so!

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