Ash Wednesday-February 13, 2013
In this quiet and dark time of the year we come to acknowledge the seasons of our own lives. There is a time to be born and a time to die. It is in recognizing that there is both a time of living and a time when we will die, we become more aware of the eternal day-by-day. It is our mortality that draws us to the hope of the eternal in Christ Jesus. On Ash Wednesday, we consider our own mortality we also think of the death of Jesus who gave His life as a ransom for us. It is the reality of His death and resurrection that removes the sting of death for the believer, and demonstrates God’s great love and grace for us.
The Ashes that we will receive are the charred remains of the previous year’s palm branches from the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem. The ashes are also a symbol of mourning and loss. As we place the ashes either on our hands or heads, may the great understanding of the sacrificial grace of God in Christ be upon our hearts.
Call to Worship: In Christ…
We have life and breath and find our meaning and purpose.
We who are dead are set free to live.
We are welcome receive amazing grace.
We are not lost but have found the Way.
We are led by still waters.
Our souls are restored
We are led in paths of righteousness.
We walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
We will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
In Christ…we who were once dead now live in victory.
Old Testament Lesson: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 20; Isaiah 58:8-12
Song of Reflection-Who Am I– Casting Crowns
New Testament Lesson: John 17:1-3, 14:1-6; 16:33
Song of Reflection-You Are for Me-Kari Jobe
Blessing of the Ashes:
Let us Pray:
Who formed us from the dust of the earth
And who breathed into us the breath of life,
It is by your gift alone
That we know life and life eternal.
Grant that these ashes,
The dust of once-joyful palms
May remind us of our mortality
And call us again to you.
In Christ we pray. Amen.
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19
Invitation to the Ashes:
We invite you now to come and receive these ashes, placing either a dot on your fore-head or on the back of your hand, we are identifying ourselves as those in mourning, in prayer, seeking in hope, the resurrected Christ. Will you come now, the invitation is open!
Song-Mighty Is the Power of the Cross-Chris Tomlin
In Christ we have life and breath and find our meaning and purpose. In Christ we who are dead are set free to live. This gift of Christ makes grace amazing and life hopeful and worth living.
May we live our days as the sheep of His pasture, trusting Him to lead us through the valley of the shadow of death, and into the house of the Lord forever. Amen
Closing Song of Reflection-Come and Listen-David Crowder Band
Leaving Song-Beauty for Ashes-Crystal Lewis