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Ash Wednesday

Worship
LECTIONARY WORSHIP AIDS
Series III, Cycle A
CALL TO WORSHIP
Take joy in your salvation and be willing to obey God as the Spirit prompts you.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God above all, you have created us from the ground up and in Christ came to our turf, to show us again that the earth is yours and you have made all things to be good. Your own Spirit infused life into the lifeless so that the human race should be distinct not in its physical properties but in its ability to control behavior individually and socially, Forgive lack of self-control, for abuse of what you have created for the good of all. May such fasting and penitence as we may practice enable us to balance things out and to bring the spiritual and the physical into equilibrium, following the example of Jesus Christ. Amen.

DECLARATION OF GOD'S FORGIVENESS
Hear the Good News! God appointed the sinless Christ to share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the goodness of God. Friends, believe the Good News. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

EXHORTATION
Having received God's grace in Christ, do not let it be wasted, but express it to others enriching them as well.

PRAYER OF THE DAY
Distinguished and distinguishing Spirit, grant us wisdom, so that both our fasting and our charitable actions are inconspicuous. Then only you will know what we have done and we will be content with your private reward. Amen.

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Maker, Sharer and Shaper of the human spirit, we are thankful that we have not been cast in stone that cannot be reshaped. You forgive our failures and give us further opportunities to restore some of the beauty of your image. We can be thankful even for the trouble and suffering that brings us closer to you in prayer. Then at least we may recognize our need to depend on you. We welcome this Lenten season as a time of personal renewal. Amen.

PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Eternal God, Ruler of time and space, we offer to you an expanded portion of our time and increased concentration of our attention during this Lenten season for our own growth in grace and in love for your family. Amen.

PSALM 51:1-17
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love:
according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born guilty,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.
You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.
UPCOMING WEEKS
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Epiphany 4 | OT 4
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New & Featured This Week

CSSPlus

John Jamison
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
(vv. 16-21)

The Immediate Word

Thomas Willadsen
Dean Feldmeyer
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
Katy Stenta
Quantisha Mason-Doll
For January 30, 2022:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Frank Ramirez
Road trip. Books, movies, and songs often center on a story about a journey in which someone finds out who they really are, what they really want, how to become what they were meant to be. The journey may be literal — discovering about ourselves through travel — or symbolic — an inward journey or experience that crystalizes self-discovery. In these passages, Jeremiah’s journey is an inward dialogue with God, in which, despite his protestations, it becomes apparent he is to be God’s prophet in the worst of times.
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, wrote, “'I have chosen you!' Keep that note of greatness in your creed. It is not that you have got God but that He has got you.” These words are powerful and, I think, reflect well the call of Jeremiah that we see in this passage. From before the time he was born, God had a plan for Jeremiah. He would be God’s prophet to the nations. 

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to worship:

Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him. As we grow, let us too become strong, with the favour of God upon us.

Invitation to confession:

Lord, we would grow inwardly strong, as you were strong.
Lord, have mercy.

Lord, sometimes we are weak and do that which we later regret.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord, may we hold fast to you and become filled with wisdom.
Lord, have mercy.

Reading:

StoryShare

Argile Smith
C. David Mckirachan
Note: This installment was originally published in 2007.

Contents
What's Up This Week
"Love Language That Hurts" by Argile Smith
"Whine And Cheese" by C. David McKirachan
"Moving On" by C. David McKirachan


What's Up This Week

SermonStudio

Gregory L. Tolle
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.... Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (vv. 12-14, 27)

James Evans
(See Proper 16/Pentecost 14/Ordinary Time 21, Cycle C, for an alternative approach.)

William G. Carter
I want to let you in on an industry secret. Ready? Most preachers have a difficult time preaching in the congregations where they grew up.
Steven E. Albertin
"The land of the free and the home of the brave." So ends our national anthem sung today at many large public gatherings in our society. It was originally penned in a time of war and has continually reminded us that this is a nation where people will bravely fight to defend their freedoms. But in this day of post-modern relativism, when there are very few causes left which anyone will bravely defend, "freedom" still remains as the great American ideal.

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