Week 12: Ash Wednesday

After Nathan exposed David’s adultery with Bathsheba, he confessed his sin to God. He pleaded for forgiveness according to his steadfast love and abundant mercy, and appealed to God for cleansing. David pleaded with God to remove his sin, to restore the joy of his salvation, and to create in him a clean heart and a right spirit. If God would not take his Holy Spirit from him, David promised to teach to sinners God’s ways, to sing of his forgiveness, and to praise God always. Our God responds to those who are contrite and humble before him.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Almighty Father, Lord of heaven and earth, we confess that we have often sinned against Thee in thought, word, and deed. Have mercy upon us, O Lord; have mercy upon us, after Thy great goodness; according to the multitude of Thy mercies, put away our offences and cleanse us from our sins; through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

~ Ps. 1i., adapted. (Fox, p. 39)

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Te Deum Laudamus 
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Ash Wednesday: Deut. 33-34; Josh. 1-2

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 51.1-17
OT: Joel 2.1-17
Gospel: Matt. 6.1-6, 16-21
NT: 2 Cor. 5.20b – 6.10

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Most gracious God, who knowest the thoughts of our hearts: we confess before thee our sins many and grievous. Grant us, we humbly beseech thee, thy merciful pardon, that we, hating and condemning our own sins, may wholly depart from them all and may cleave to all that is good; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ Gelasian Sacramentary (Ferguson and Wallis, p. 327)

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
The early church was mainly made up of nobodies and cast-offs. The poor lower classes, the slaves, the women and children were the majority of the Church. Most Christians could not read or write. Very few had an influence or status in society. They were opposed and oppressed at every turn. Yet it was these ancient Christians who experienced some of the most dynamic and explosive growth the Church has ever known. How do the nobodies and cast-offs do such amazing things for Christ and his Kingdom? How do they learn Christian truth? How do they share the faith? How do they pray or worship? How do they represent Christ and his Kingdom? The Great Tradition of the Church formed in response to questions like these.

~ Ryan Carter, Guard the Good Deposit.
Wichita: TUMI Press, 2019. Loc. 81, Kindle.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
For God So Loved the World, John 3.14-21

Book Reading
Davis, Sacred Roots

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