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Ash Wednesday

Worship
Lectionary Worship Workbook
Series IV, Cycle B
Call To Worship
Based on Joel 2.
Leader:
Blow the trumpet,
People:
Sound the alarm,
Leader:
For the day of the Lord is coming.
People:
Announce his coming,
Leader:
Call everyone together for a holy gathering,
People:
Declare a holy fast,
Leader:
Gather the people and set them apart,
People:
Bring everyone together,
Leader:
From the oldest to the youngest,
People:
Leave whatever you're doing and listen,
Leader:
Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart.
People:
Now is the time to return to the Lord.
Leader:
Let us bow down before our holy God.


Prayer Of Confession
Psalm 51
Leader:
Have mercy on me, O God,
People:
In your great tenderness,
Leader:
Wipe away my faults;
People:
Wash me clean of my guilt;
Leader:
Purify me of my sin,
People:
For my sin is constantly on my mind.
Leader:
I have sinned against none other than you,
People:
Having done what you declared to be wrong.
Leader:
You are justified in passing sentence on me,
People:
And blameless in judging me.
Leader:
Yet, I pray, Lord, that you would hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities.
People:
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
Leader:
Put a new and righteous spirit within me.
People:
Restore to me the joy of your presence,
Leader:
And keep my spirit steady and willing.
People:
Amen.

This one, based on 2 Corinthians 5:20-21, is a Confession and a Statement Of Faith. It could even be used as a Dedication Prayer.
Leader:
Father God,
People:
Our sin is ever before us.
Leader:
Yet you sent your Son Jesus, who was sinless,
People:
To be sin for us,
Leader:
So that we might become righteous,
People:
With your righteousness.
Leader:
Our sin is exchanged for your righteousness.
People:
We are humbled and grateful.
Leader:
In Jesus' name, be reconciled to God then.
People:
God, let your forgiveness and reconciliation be seen in our lives,
Leader:
So that others will know Christ and his healing power.
People:
We are the evidence of the reality of Christ.
Leader:
May we live as his ambassadors,
People:
For so we are.
Leader:
Amen.


Assurance Of Pardon
Based on Joel 2. It goes well with the Confession based on Joel 2 above.
The Lord says, "Return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your hearts and not your garments"; meaning don't just show outward signs of repentance, like the mark of ashes on your forehead or giving up something for this season of Lent, but let your heart be broken in realizing your sin before the Lord. In your sorrow and remorse, return to the Lord, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. He is the God of grace, who forgives our sins and restores us once again into a right relationship with him.


Parish Prayer
Loosely based on 2 Corinthians 6:3-10. You may want to read the passage as an introduction to the prayer.
Let us pray: Life is not easy. We all face temptations and trials and troubles. It's hard to keep being faithful and keep doing what's right all the time. It's a daily challenge to endure and to persevere ourselves, let alone encourage others.

Lord, we lift up to you in prayer those for whom at this moment life is hard. O how we need the presence of your Holy Spirit and the power of your love to get through and make us victorious in all our struggles. Give us your grace and strength and love. When we come to the end of ourselves, having nothing to keep us going, we have you; you are everything we need. Thank you, precious Lord. Amen.


Benediction
2 Corinthians 6:1-2
Christians, do not receive God's grace without realizing its amazing worth. For God says, "In the time of my favor, I heard you, and in the day of salvation, I helped you." Now is the time of God's favor; now is the day of salvation. Go in God's saving grace.


Hymns

At Calvary

Cleanse Me

Come, Ye Sinners, Poor And Needy

I Lay My Sins On Jesus

If My People's Hearts Are Humbled

Jesus, I Come

Lord, I'm Coming Home

Since I Have Been Redeemed

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus


Contemporary Choruses

I Give You My Heart, Reuben Morgan

Take My Life, Scott Underwood

Wonderful Cross, The, Jesse Reaves


Other Music

Beauty For Ashes, Crystal Lewis
Perfect for Ash Wednesday. The song tells of how Jesus turns the ashes of this life into beauty.
UPCOMING WEEKS
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Lent 2
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130+ – Illustrations / Stories
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34 – Commentary / Exegesis
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33 – Sermons
140+ – Illustrations / Stories
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Lent 4
30 – Sermons
130+ – Illustrations / Stories
36 – Children's Sermons / Resources
29 – Worship Resources
31 – Commentary / Exegesis
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New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
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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).
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Bonnie Bates
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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.

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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.”

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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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