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A Devotion for Ash Wednesday
Transcript of A Devotion for Ash Wednesday
Read Joel 2:12-17
"Return to the Lord, your God,
who is gracious and merciful,"
Read Matthew 6:7-18
Prayer of Confession
Let us pray together...
The truth is this:
God’s love and mercy
Prayer & Study
Discipline & Fasting
Works of Love and Service
Let this moment be special, set aside, given freely to spend with God.
Watch or listen to one of the Preparation videos before moving onto the next slide.Simply click on one of the videos to play.
Then click the forward or right arrow to continue.
Friends, in the early church, Lent was a preparation time for Holy Week and Easter. New converts prepared for baptism. Those who were separated from the community through wrongdoing were restored through penitence and reconciliation. The entire faith community turned its focus to prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Today, we are invited to participate again in Lent, our yearly discipline of self-reflection. Through this practice, our lives more fully reflect the forgiveness and compassion of God. As a community, we turn our focus to Prayer & Study, Fasting & Discipline and Works of Love and Service.
Let us begin this journey of faith through the confession of our sin a a commitment to live new lives in Christ. So we receive the gracious acceptance that God offers through Jesus Christ. So we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to fruitful lives.
"Pray then in this way..."
Refreshing Waters of Encouragement
Have we let hurts and disappointment harden our hearts?
Compassion is like fresh water, softening the soil of a parched and weary land.
Frustration or failure can dry us out and shrivel us up.
In the waters of our baptism, there is freedom from resentment and refreshment for our thirst.
Remember that life-giving power?
then, to forgiveness and forgiving with an open heart.
God, this is a hard time.
The focus of Lent is on the pain and suffering of Jesus
and our own need for repentance.
It is a time of gathering darkness.
But we would rather skip this part and go straight to Easter.
We would rather ignore the suffering—in you and in the world—
and avoid the hard work of true self-examination.
Forgive us for wanting this to be bright and painless and easy,
when we know that Jesus did not take the easy way,
but chose the path of the Cross.
Teach us the true meaning of turning away from sin,
so that we may use this Lenten season
to humbly seek a clean heart and a renewed spirit.
We pray in the name Jesus Christ.
Believe the Gospel!
God cleanses us from
our sins and shortcomings
God knows us in our
God restores to us
of our salvation.
Ashes & Oil
Ashes remind us of mourning. We mourn our sins. We apply the sign of the cross in ash to remind us that we are human. We fall short of even our best hopes. We confess this reality to God and surrender all the pride and embarrassment that get entangled in it.
Using a washable marker or eyeliner/eye shadow, draw a cross on the forehead or hand.
Oil is a sign of healing. We apply oil when we long for God's wholeness. It soothes the harsh edges of mourning and begins to restore us. It reminds us that we are called by God to a life of hope and compassion.
Using lotion or olive oil, draw a second cross on the forehead or back of the hand.
Waters of Remembrance
Water reminds us of our baptism....or helps us look forward to it. We can also remember the baptisms of other people. It is a sign of dying to sin and rising to a new life in Christ. It is a symbol of resurrection. It is a cleansing power. And it waters our lives and ministries with blessing. We are God's beloved....
Touch the water and remember or look forward to your baptism. Share with someone close what it means to you today.
Read II Corinthians 5:18-6:2
"be reconciled to God"
Finding ways to make
our focus for forty days!
Worship Sunday will be full of ideas!
Or check out the church Facebook Page throughout the week!
Also, Pinterest is a good source.
to God, our redeemer and friend, be all glory honor and praise, now and forever more. Let us walk with God in loyalty and truth, forgiven and free.
This devotion was based on a service created by Lynne Bell Graham, 1991, for Worship for All Seasons, Vol. II, edited by Thomas Harding and published by The United Church Publishing House, 1993. Pictures are from Google stock used through Prezi for a non profit use or from the church picture files. The Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon were written by Jeanyne Slettom in A Service of Ashes, posted on the Process and Faith website and discovered by me on http://re-worship.blogspot.com/
How to Use this Slideshow
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How to Use this Devotion
1. Make a quiet place and time.
2. Gather up the following: a bowl of water, a watercolor marker or eyeliner/eyeshadow, lotion or olive oil.
3. Begin the slideshow and choose a reflective piece of music to begin. Click on one of the you tube videos. Please be aware, they still have commercials on them and you will want your mute button at the beginning!
4. Come to worship Sunday to share your experiences!