Day 335 | Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Week 48 of gathering for prayer at noon
Ash Wednesday beginning: (Genesis 3:19; Psalm 51:10)
“Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, from dust we were created, and to dust we shall return. From dust and ashes of our lives, create again, O Lord. Create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew your free spirit within us.”
An Ash Wednesday Invocation:
“On this day of ashes, we come in repentance and sorrow for all our offenses against you and others. As we dare to worship you, we seek your forgiveness that our sins may be removed, and our spirits made clean and whole. Purify us and enable us to walk in joy and gladness once again. All of this we ask in the name of the One who came to deliver us from sin and death. Amen.”
An Ash Wednesday Prayer of Confession:
“Great and merciful God: You created us in your divine image, but we would rather make you over in our image, expecting and demanding far less of ourselves. At the opening of this season of penitence, we pray for courage and honesty, that our self-examination may be searching and specific rather than safely general. Save us, holy creator, from being satisfied with feeling sorry for the evil we have done - or condoned or ignored - and for the good we have failed to do. Move us rather to explore what we can do to make amends: to undo harm we may have caused; to make up for whatever good we have left undone. May the Ashes, symbol of penitence, remind us of the cost of true penitence - and nerve us to pay it. In the name of him who, though subject to all our temptations, was alone without sin, Jesus Christ, our compassionate Lord. Amen”
An Ash Wednesday Prayer
“On this dark day, may we have just enough light to carry on. On this opening into the time of Lent, may we know just enough hope to do the hard things we need to do. May we leave this day ready to be refined by the power that leads inevitably to the light of Easter morn. Amen.”
Another Ash Wednesday Prayer
“It's an icy day, a cold day, a mean day, even though in some places the sun is shining, and the sky is clear. We know that 40 days from now, Lent will end in resurrection. But now we know the ice. Now we know the cold. We know what it means to look straight at our death, and the death of Jesus, and to be filled with fear.
“We are already acquainted with grief. Let us not ignore the fact of loss in our lives and in many lives. Let us sing the ironic song of children, "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down," and let us mean it. Let us not be afraid of the cold things about life.
“And bring us, in your own good time, back to the certain warmth of your anticipated resurrection. For now, though, stay near. Let us know your presence in the fact of our death, your Son's death and the deaths of those we love. Make us less afraid. Open us to grief so that we may be emptied for joy.
“In the name of Jesus, who knows what it means to be betrayed. Amen.”
For additional devotional reading, the assigned Scriptures for Ash Wednesday are, Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 and Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21.
Today: Prayers for all those dealing with the latest winter storms.