Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ash Wednesday 2007

Almighty and Eternal God, who hates nothing that you have made, and who forgives the sins of all those who are penitent; create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-- AMiA 1662 proposed BCP

From Morning Prayer, Isaiah 58.1-3,
(1) Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram's horn, and show My people their rebellion, and the house of Jacob their sins.
(2) Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and one who did not forget the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in drawing near to God.
(3) They say, Why have we fasted, and You do not see? Why have we afflicted our soul, and You take no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and crush all your laborers.

It may well be that we as a people have not really sought nor delighted in the law (Word) of the Lord.

Perhaps we take delight in drawing near to God for the wrong purpose...could it be that we pray, and weep, and seek His ordinances of justice...to justify our selves, our own desires and carnal interpretations?

Let us all lift our voices like a ram's horn and pray in the words of the Ash Wednesday Psalm selection from the 1662 lectionary and make this Psalm our prayer for the penitential season of Lent.

Psalms 143:1-12
(1) A Psalm of David. Hear my prayer O Jehovah; give ear to my supplications; * in Your faithfulness and in Your righteousness answer me.
(2) And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, * for in Your sight no one living is just.
(3) For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has beaten my life down to the ground; * he has made me dwell in darkness, as those long dead.
(4) And my spirit has fainted within me; * my heart has become weary within me.
(5) I remember the days of old; I think on all Your works; * I muse on the work of Your hands.
(6) I stretch forth my hands to You; * my soul thirsts after You like a thirsty land. Selah.
(7) Hear me quickly, O Jehovah; my spirit fails; * do not hide Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the Pit.
(8) Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for I do trust in You; * cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.
(9) Deliver me, O Jehovah, from my enemies; * I flee to You to hide me.
(10) Teach me to do Your will; for You are my God; * Your Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
(11) O Jehovah, for Your name's sake enliven me; * for Your righteousness' sake, bring my soul out of trouble.
(12) And out of Your mercy cut off my enemies, * and destroy all those who afflict my soul; for I am Your servant.

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