Ash Wednesday                                                                      February 17, 2021


Today’s Theme for Worship: Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance. Outward observances and customs are fine, but they are all empty without a broken and repentant heart.


There is no opening hymn.

Psalm 51                                                                                                    Special Music


Silence for meditation

Instruction for the Beginning of Lent

M: Brothers and sisters in Christ, God created us to know joy in communion with him, to love all humanity, and to live in harmony with all creation. But sin separates us from God, our neighbors, and creation, and so we do not enjoy the life our Creator intended for us. By our sin we grieve our Father, who does not desire us to come under his judgment but to turn to him and live. Therefore, God in his mercy has sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take our place under the law, to suffer for us, and to die the death we deserve. God made Jesus, who had no sin, to be sin for us so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God.

     During the 40 days of Lent, we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. The time of Lent reminds us that to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, we must also know the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. As disciples of the Lord Jesus, we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from love of God and neighbor.

     I invite you, therefore, to confess your sins, ask our Father for forgiveness, and commit yourselves to this struggle. Let us be silent. Let us be still. Let us pause now for a time of reflection and self-examination.

Silence for reflection and self-examination


Confession of Sins

M: Most holy and merciful Father,

C:  We confess to you and to one another that we have sinned by our own fault, by our own grievous fault in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

M: We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.

C: Have mercy on us, Lord.

M: We have been deaf to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved the Holy Spirit.

C: Have mercy on us, Lord.

M: We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness. The pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives

C: We confess to you, O Lord.

M: Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, our manipulation of other people

C: We confess to you, O Lord.

M: Our anger when our selfish aims are denied and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves

C: We confess to you, O Lord.

M: Our love of worldly goods and comforts and our dishonesty in daily life and work

C: We confess to you, O Lord.

M: Our negligence in worship and prayer and our failure to show the faith that is in us

C: We confess to you, O Lord.

M: Forgive us, Lord, for the wrongs we have done. For our blindness to human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,

C:  Forgive us, O Lord.

M: For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward others, and for our prejudice and contempt for those who differ from us,

C:  Forgive us, O Lord.

M: For what we think or say or do that is at variance with your will,

C:  Forgive us, O Lord.

M: Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us.

C:  Hear us, Lord, for your mercy is great.




M: Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, does not desire the death of sinners but rather that they turn from their wickedness and live.

     Therefore, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son † and of the Holy Spirit.

     During these days of Lent, let us implore God to give us renewal and his Holy Spirit. May we continue to abide in the true faith and at the last be received by him through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.

C: Amen.



Hymn: 303 With Broken Heart and Contrite Sigh

1  With broken heart and contrite sigh, A trembling sinner, Lord, I cry.

Your pard’ning grace is rich and free-O God, be merciful to me!


2  I smite upon my troubled breast, With deep and conscious guilt oppressed,

Christ and his cross my only plea-O God, be merciful to me!


3  Far off I stand with tearful eyes Nor dare uplift them to the skies,

But you can all my anguish see-O God, be merciful to me!


4  No gifts, no deeds that I have done Can for a single sin atone.

To Calvary alone I flee-O God, be merciful to me!


5  And when, redeemed from sin and hell, With all the ransomed souls I dwell,

My joyous song shall ever be: God has been merciful to me!


Text: Cornelius Elven, 1791-1873, alt.


First Lesson: Isaiah 59:12-20

The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins.

12 Yes, our rebellious deeds are many before you, and our sins testify against us. Our rebellious deeds are with us, and as for our guilty deeds, we are aware of them.

13 Those deeds are rebellion and treachery against the Lord. We turn back from following our God. We incite oppression and apostasy. We conceive and mutter deceitful words from our hearts.

14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away, for truth stumbles in the city square, and honesty cannot enter it.15 The truth is missing, and anyone who turns from evil makes himself prey.

The Lord looked and saw something evil—there was no justice.16 He saw that there was no one. He was appalled that there was no one who could intervene.

So his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness supported him.17 He clothed himself with righteousness like armor and wore a helmet of salvation on his head.

He dressed in garments for vengeance, and he wrapped himself with zeal like a cloak.18 He will repay in full what they have earned, namely, wrath to his foes and full payment to his enemies.

He will repay even the distant coastlands.19 From the west they will fear the Lord’s name, and from the rising of the sun they will fear his glory, for he will come like a raging river, driven by the Spirit of the Lord.

20 Then a redeemer will come for Zion and for those in Jacob who turn from rebellion. This is the declaration of the Lord.


Second Lesson: 2 Corthinians 5:20b-6:22

If we continue to live in sin, it will destroy the message of Christ's peace we bear and destroy our effectiveness as Christ's ambassadors.

We urge you, on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him, who did not know sin, to become sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

6:1 As fellow workers we also urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says: At a favorable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. Look, now is the favorable time! See, now is the day of salvation!



Hymn of the Day: 385 Chief of Sinners Though I Be


1  Chief of sinners though I be, Jesus shed his blood for me,

Died that I might live on high, Lives that I might never die.

As the branch is to the vine, I am his and he is mine!


2  Oh, the height of Jesus’ love, Higher than the heav’ns above,

Deeper than the depths of sea, Lasting as eternity,

Love that found me-wondrous thought!-Found me when I sought him not.


3  Only Jesus can impart Comfort to a wounded heart:

Peace that flows from sin forgiv’n, Joy that lifts the soul to heav’n,

Faith and hope to walk with God In the way that Enoch trod.


4  Chief of sinners though I be, Christ is all in all to me.

All my wants to him are known; All my sorrows are his own.

Safe with him in earthly strife, I await the heav’nly life.


5  Strengthen me, O gracious Lord, By your Spirit and your word.

When my wayward heart would stray, Keep me in the narrow way;

Grace in time of need supply While I live and when I die.


Text: William McComb, 1793-c. 1870, alt.



Sermon: Luke 18:9-14 Hands of Repentance (Tax Collector)

Jesus told this parable to certain people who trusted in themselves (that they were righteous) and looked down on others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple courts to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people, robbers, evildoers, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. I give a tenth of all my income.’

13 “However the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even lift his eyes up to heaven, but was beating his chest and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

14 “I tell you, this man went home justified rather than the other, because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.  For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and became fully human.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered death and was buried.  On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who in unity with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.  We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.  We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.  Amen.



Offering Prayer

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Prayer of the Church


Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen


The Sacrament


P: The Lord be with you.

C: And also with you.


P: Lift up your hearts.

C: We lift them up to the Lord.


P: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C: It is good and right so to do.


P: It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places give you thanks, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who brought the gift of salvation to all people by his death on the tree of the cross, so that the devil, who overcame us by a tree would in turn by a tree be overcome. Therefore, with all the saints on earth and hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name and join their glorious song:


Holy, Holy, Holy


Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly Lord God of heav-en-ly hosts:

heav'n and earth are full of your glo-ry.

Ho-san-na, ho-san-na, ho-san-na in the high-est.

Bless-ed is he, bless-ed is he,

bless-ed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Ho-san-na, ho-san-na, ho-san-na in the high-est.


Words of Institution


P: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying “Take and eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”


Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”


P: The peace of the Lord be with you always.

C: A-men.


O Christ, Lamb Of God

O Christ, Lamb of God,

you take a-way the sin of the world;

have mer-cy on us.


O Christ, Lamb of God,

you take a-way the sin of the world;

have mer-cy on us.


O Christ, Lamb of God,

you take a-way the sin of the world;

grant us your peace. A-men.

Song of Simeon

Lord, now you let your servant de-part in peace

ac-cord-ing to your word.


For my eyes have seen your salvation,

which you have pre-pared be-fore the face of all people,


a light to light-en the Gen-tiles

and the glo-ry of your peo-ple Is-ra-el.


P: O Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

C: And his mercy endures forever.


Prayer and Blessing

P: We give thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us with this holy supper. We pray that through it you will strengthen our faith in you and increase our love for one another. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.




P: O God the Father, source of all goodness, in your loving-kindness you sent your Son to share our humanity. We thank you that through him you have given us pardon and peace in this Sacrament. We also pray that you will not forsake us but will rule our hearts and minds by your Holy Spirit so that we willingly serve you day after day, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


C: A-men.


P: The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look on you with favor and + give you peace.


C: A-men. A-men. A-men.


Closing Hymn 316 O Jesus, Blessed Lord, to Thee


1  O Jesus, blessed Lord, to thee

My heartfelt thanks forever be,

Who hast so lovingly bestowed

On me thy body and thy blood.


2  Break forth, my soul, for joy and say:

What wealth is come to me this day!

My Savior dwells within my heart-

How blest am I! How good thou art!


Text: Thomas H. Kingo, 1634-1703; tr. Arthur J. Mason, 1851-1928.