Beginning Again

Ash Wednesday
February 17, 2021

Opening
Lord, as I sit here with you, please quiet my heart and mind. I come as I am, inwardly jumbled from too many things. Awaken me to your presence within and around me. May I rest in you as I listen and follow where you lead.


Reflection
Because of the pandemic and the layers of suffering that this last year has brought, we may feel more scattered than we normally do. We may find we have less energy, fewer inner resources to draw upon. We may feel enshrouded in grief because there has just been too much. So before continuing, I invite us to just to take a few deep breaths for a moment or two… As we continue to breathe deeply, we enter the Lenten journey once again, reminded of how very deeply we are loved. Jesus not only meets us where we are, but He enters into our human story, and into the very fabric of our lives. As we accompany Jesus on his way to the cross, and then to the empty tomb, may we remember our tears are on His face. So as we journey with the One who loves us beyond our understanding May we be deeply moved and changed by it. May God’s grace heal, restore, and transform us again and again.


Invitation
Read the scripture through slowly a couple of times. Pause where you are drawn.

Scripture: Psalm 51:1-2, 10-12
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.

Prayer of Response
Gracious God, we are broken within from all that has been. Overwhelmed and wrapped up by our own cares, we lose sight and connection with you,
who is our “refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” Forgive us. Heal us. Reconnect us with you, that we may move beyond ourselves, hearing you not only from within, but also from without- through the people in need right in front of us. You come to us through them. Help us to love as You love, to care as You care, to reach out in all the ways that You do. Help us to be true living, loving reflections of you, in thought, word, and deed. Deepen our awareness of you and please keep us rooted there.

Amen.

Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff,
Founder and Executive Director

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