Ash Wednesday: 06 Mar 2019 – Isaiah 57:15-21, Mark 2:13-22 ~ healer of sin-sick souls

Ash Wednesday

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Ash Wednesday)

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made, and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create in me a new spirit and contrite heart, that I – worthily lamenting my sins and acknowledging my wretchedness – may obtain of you – the God of all mercy – perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ my Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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First Reading – Isaiah 57:15-21 (NLT)

The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this:

“I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. For I will not fight against you forever; I will not always be angry.

“If I were, all people would pass away—all the souls I have made. I was angry, so I punished these greedy people. I withdrew from them, but they kept going on their own stubborn way.

“I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them.

“But those who still reject me are like the restless sea, which is never still but continually churns up mud and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked,” says my God.
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Second Reading – Mark 2:13-22(NLT)

Jesus Calls Levi (Matthew)

Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.

Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

A Discussion about Fasting

Once when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and asked, “Why don’t your disciples fast like John’s disciples and the Pharisees do?”

Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while the groom is with them. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

“Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”
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Prayer of Confession:

Most merciful God, we confess that we have not loved as You have called us to love. We have been impatient and unkind. We have been jealous, boastful and proud. We have responded rudely to others and often lived for ourselves alone. Our anger has come quickly while our desire for the best for others has been hard to find. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent. In Your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be: that we may love as You first loved us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“Physician of My Sin-Sick Soul” (John Newton) – Metropolitan Tabernacle, London

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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