This service of worship was used at Kerr Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in recognition of Ash Wednesday. You are invited to go through the elements of this service once or many times during the season of Lent.
Please find a comfortable space where you can pray. You might want to gather some materials including a Bible, journal or drawing paper, pen or other writing/drawing materials, and a candle. As we begin, take a deep breath and light the candle if desired to symbolize the truth that the Holy Spirit is guiding us.
Let us Pray:
Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and neighbors. Call forth our prayers and acts of tenderness, and strengthen us to face our mortality, that we may reach with confidence for your mercy; in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Book of Common Worship, 222).
Join in singing “Blessed Be Your Name” as led by the Norris Family. Here is the Song Sheet.
Prayer of Illumination
God our helper, by your Holy Spirit open our minds, that as the scriptures are read and your Word is proclaimed, we may be led into your truth and be taught your will, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Worship, 222)
“From Death to Life,” Rev. KJ Norris
As we studied in the sermon “The Art of the Apology” by Kimberly Norris, confession has three important parts: naming our sin, remembering the glory of God, and asking to be put back in right relationship with God. Let us take time to do each of these.
Scripture says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9, NRSV).
Take a moment to think back over your day or week. In what ways have you turned from God? We all sin in word and deed, by things we have done and things we have left undone. Confess these things to the Lord. Perhaps consider writing down your confession or creating art which expresses your repentance. These works can later be destroyed as a sign of active repentance.
When we confess, it is important to remember who God is. Throughout Scripture, God reveals God’s own self to be full of steadfast love and forgiveness and kindness. Ephesians tells us that when we were dead in our sins, God poured out love upon us and made us alive through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Take time meditating on who God is. Consider writing an alphabet poem (like Psalm 111 or 119) which describes God using every letter of the alphabet.
Our desire is to be put back into right relationship with God, with other humans, and with all of creation. This is called reconciliation. In Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, God enables us to be a new creation who is set in right relationship.
Take time meditating on how God may be calling you to a new life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps choose a word from this Word Cloud generated from the Book of Ephesians to consider how you might more faithfully walk in accordance with God’s purpose:
Join in singing “It is Well With My Soul” as led by Kimberly Norris.
You are invited to give a portion of what God has given you back to the Lord. If you feel called, please donate to Kerr Presbyterian Church and regular attenders are invited to participate in this year’s Lenten Giving. For each worship service, we are invited to donate an item to the Light of Life Mission Rescue. Learn more about our Lenten Practices here.
Blessing and Charge:
May the God of peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
(Book of Common Worship, 234)