MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Ash Wednesday 2023
- SILENCECall To WorshipGod sent Christ into the worldnot to condemn the world,but that the world might be saved through him.God’s love endures forever.God is our refuge and strength, a present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change,though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though the waters roar and foam,though the mountains tremble with its tumult.God’s love endures forever.SILENCESeek Ye FirstHoly Is The LordAsh Wednesday 2023Almighty God,you despise nothing you have madeand you forgive the sins of all who trust in you. Create in us new and contrite hearts,that truly repenting of our sins,and acknowledging our brokenness,we may receive from you, the God of all mercy, full pardon and forgiveness;through your Son, Jesus Christ our redeemer,who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.SILENCEMerciful God,your word is our way of truth and life.Create in us hearts that are clean and put your Holy Spirit within us, so that we may receive your grace and declare your praise forever;through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Ash Wednesday 2023God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter (Ash Wednesday: God Deceives No One)In the beginning, even before the start of his ministry, Jesus is tempted by the devil. The powers of evil, of falling away from God, approach him and try to bring him down at the very moment when he is assuming his role as Messiah (Luke 4:3–4). Luke reports that Jesus is famished, and then the devil confronts him: If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread. If you have the power of God, then use it for yourself. Perform a miracle: turn the stone into bread, and you will be filled. Why, after all, do you have such power? If you are the Son of God, prove your power.… In this voice of apparent intercessory love, Jesus recognizes the voice of the devil. It was an outrageous suggestion, and he rejects the devil: “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Here that means basically: God deceives no one.“And take up their cross.” That cross is already there, ready, from the very beginning; we need only take it up. But to keep us from believing that we must simply choose any arbitrary cross, or simply pick out our suffering as we will, Jesus emphasizes that each of us has his or her own cross, ready, appointed, and appropriately measured by God.Jesus Cross was there at the very beginning of his ministry. It’s not something that we have to wait for, and in a very real way that is what Lent is about. It’s looking at the cross, remember Jesus died for us, and for us to learn to die to ourselves. That’s why often people will give up something for Lent.In Mark 8:27-33, Jesus asks his disciples “Who do people say that I am. And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.And that’s when he began to teach them, when they recognized Jesus for who he was, yet they still had a ways to go. He told them that He must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and that he would be killed and after three days rise again. Peter wasn’t having it, and he took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him. But, turning and seeing His disciples, Jesus rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.Origen wrote in his commentary on Matthew, “If Peter … was called a stumbling-block by Jesus—as not minding the things of God in what he said but the things of men—what is to be said about all those who profess to be made disciples of Jesus, but do not mind the things of God?[What is to be said about those who] do not look to things unseen and eternal, (but mind the things of man) and look to things seen and temporal? Would they be seen by Jesus as a stumbling block to Him, and because they are stumbling blocks to Him, as stumbling blocks to His followers also? In regard to them He says, “I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,” so also He might say, “When I was running you caused me to stumble.” Let us not therefore suppose that it is a trivial sin to mind the things of men—since we ought in everything to mind the things of God.How are we to respond?Tonight, we’re going to spend some time in confession and silence before we impart the ashes. As we think about these things I have prepared some sheets that you might use throughout the season of Lent to ask questions of yourself. Allowing you to ask yourself How are you mindful of the things of people? Are you harboring mindsets, possessions, goals, and desires that are incompatible with God and God’s Kingdom? You might choose to make a list of things and pray about them.Let’s take a moment of silence and then share in confession using song and a Litany of Penetance.Create In Me A Clean Heart
Psalm 51:1–17 ESVHave 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 only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the 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 broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.Litany of PenitanceHoly and merciful God,we confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth,that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed,by what we have done,and by what we have left undone.We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength.We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.Have mercy on us, O God.We have not listened to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ.We have grieved your Holy Spirit.Have mercy on us, O God.We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness. For the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives, have mercy on us, O God.For our self-indulgent appetites and ways and our exploitation of other people, have mercy on us, O God.For our anger at our own frustrationand our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,have mercy on us, O God.For our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,have mercy on us, O God.For our negligence in prayer and worship,and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,have mercy on us, O God.Accept our repentance, O God, for the wrongs we have done.For our neglect of human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, have mercy on us, O God.For all false judgments,for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudiceand contempttoward those who differ from us,have mercy on us, O God.For our waste and pollution of your creationand our lack of concern for those who come after us,have mercy on us, O God.Restore us, O God of our salvation, Ps. 85:4, 7; Ps. 69:16, 18and show us your steadfast love.Turn to us in your mercy and redeem us.SILENCEASHESAlmighty God,you have created us out of the dust of the earth.May these ashes be for usa sign of our mortality and penitence, for it is only by your gracious giftare we given everlasting life;through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.Directions:Galatians 2:20 (ESV)I have been crucified with Christ. and It’s no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.The life you now live in the flesh, live by faith in the Son of God, who loves you and gave himself for you.Receiver will say, “I have been crucified with Christ and it’s no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”The giver will make the sign of the corss in ash on the receiver’s forehead and we will all say "The life you now live in the flesh, live by faith in the Son of God who loves you and gave himself for you.”SILENCEHallelujahBenediction
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