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Summary: An Ash Wednesday Sermon

Ash Wednesday

Psalm 51:1-18 (quickview) 

Sinfulness

51:1 ¶ To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.

16 For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.

17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

On this Ash Wednesday my Lenten journey begins...

I am like a fisherman who launches his boat at dawn on the way to deep waters... The morning seas are calm; but the fisherman knows a storm can come with little warning. The boat may be buffeted by wind and waves before the journey is done. It may even capsize...Nevertheless, carefully equipped for the journey, he launches his boat, he pushes out. . He trusts that his journey will be successful and be good. . .

My boat is my self; the waters are my life a new course; . . I am making a new effort to direct me to God to live my life in Christ...... I am on my way to deep waters of faith. My morning seas are calm, but I know that winds of unrest, discontent or discouragement may lie ahead. My boat may even capsize... Nevertheless I push out. I trust that I will have a good journey because Jesus goes with me...He will guide me through the words of the Lenten scripture reading. He will help me to understand better through them the journey through death He himself has taken. And he will give me courage to follow. .

The strength of his presence in me will help me to forgive, accept, persevere, and love through the weeks ahead........ I will join with others, family, friends, the children, other parishioners, who are also on this journey. Together we will turn to God in prayer and ritual . . Jesus, present among us, will join his pray to ours........


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