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Ash Wednesday 2021

Welcome to Ash Wednesday!

Please dim your lights or light a candle. If possible, please turn on your camera.

Join the 8:30pm Zoom Gathering

Opening

Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
His mercy endures forever.


Call to Worship

(written by Rev. Sarah Are)

God meets us in the night —
Before the sun rises,
Before the wound heals,
Before there are answers,
Before there is closure.

God meets us at the threshold —
At the edge of the water,
At the beginning of the wilderness,
At the start of something new,
On the edge of faith.

And if God meets us in all those places,
Then surely God meets us in between—

Staying with us through the wilderness.

We are not alone. God is all around.
Let us worship the God of the here and now.


Holy Ground

I am here.
God is here.


Thank You for Pain

I bring you my pain
I give you my sorrow
I offer my shame
The threat of tomorrow

I’ve heard that You’re close to the brokenhearted
And near to the cries of the poor
Well prove it, I’m on the floor
I’ll wait

Should I thank you for pain?
Do I thank you for sorrow?
I’ll bring You my shame
The threat of tomorrow

Thank You for all that can finally grow
in the soil of death and despair
Thank You for meeting me here
Thank You for meeting me here

Thank You for doubt
Thanks for despair
When options run out
The mercifully unanswered prayers

Thank you for all that is possible
In the space that pain can create
I cling to amazing grace
And wait, and wait


1 | Remember (Dust We Are)

Genesis 3:19: “From dust you came, and to dust you shall return.”

From dust we’ve come
And dust we are and shall return

Be still my soul
And let it go, just let it go

Glory to God
Glory to God
In the highest

Naked we came and shall return
Into the grave

Be still my soul
Lord, make me whole
Lord, make me whole


2 | Repent (Rend Your Hearts)

Joel 2:12-13
Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.

Where have you contributed to broken and breaking ways death and decay?
Where have you covered the image of God in you with the dirt of lesser things?
Where is the call of repentance coming to you as you enter this season of Lent?


Confession

O Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart:
that desiring you, we may seek you;
and that seeking you, we may find you;
and that finding you, we may love you;
and that loving you, we may love the things you love.

And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,

by giving up ourselves to your service,
and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days.
Amen.

Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For all our unfaithfulness and disobedience; for the pride, vanity, and hypocrisy of our lives;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For our self-pity and impatience, and our envy of those we think more fortunate than ourselves;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For our unrighteous anger, bitterness, and resentment; for all lies, gossip, and slander against our neighbors;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For our sexual impurity, our exploitation of other people, and our failure to give of ourselves in love;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our intemperate pursuit of worldly goods and comforts;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For our dishonesty in daily life and work, our ingratitude for your gifts, and our failure to heed your call.
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For our wastefulness and misuse of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For all false judgments, for prejudice and contempt of others, and for all uncharitable thoughts toward our
neighbors;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For our negligence in prayer and worship; for our presumption and abuse of your means of grace;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For seeking the praise of others rather than the approval of God;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.

For our failure to commend the faith that is in us;
Lord, have mercy upon us:
For we have sinned against you.


3 | Repair (The Fasting God Chooses)

Isaiah 58

Shout out, do not hold back!
   Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
   to the house of Jacob their sins.

Yet day after day they seek me
   and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
   and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgements,
   they delight to draw near to God.
‘Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?’

Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day, and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist.
   Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.

Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
   and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?

Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?


Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.


If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.

Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.


Prayers of the People

Reflection

What is dying in you?

What is rising in you?

And where will you meet Jesus this Lent?


Dust We Are / Thank You for Pain / Amazing Grace

Glory to God
Glory to God
In the highest

Be still my soul
and let it go
just let it go

Thank you for all that is possible
In the space that pain can create
I cling to amazing grace
And wait, and wait

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that saved, a wretch like me
I once was blind, but now I’m found
was blind, but now I see


The Peace

The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

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