Ash Wednesday Vespers

Ash Wednesday Vespers

Audio only. Scroll down for video.

Lent is known as the season of repentance.

While that may sound depressing to confront and confess our sins, it is a blessing of the greatest means. We get to acknowledge our inclination to sin, seek forgiveness and absolutely receive it.

But it doesn’t start and end with Lent. The life of repentance is a daily way of living. To acknowledge our sinful nature is difficult but necessary. What makes it easy to do is the knowledge that we are forgiven. There is a Latin saying common in Lutheran circles: “simul justus et peccator.” It translates roughly to “simultaneously sinner and saint”. We are both sinful and righteous, flawed and loved.

We have this assurance of forgiveness because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. He stood in our place, died for our sins, and redeemed us with his holy and perfect blood.

So yes, while Lent is the season of repentance, it is also a time to know His forgiveness. Reflect on His love that wiped away our sins. Time to understand the Greek word “aphemi” used in Scripture which means to send away. Remember that His forgiveness of our sins means our sins are vanquished.

Thanks be to God for his glory, his love, and his forgiveness bestowed upon us.

Today’s sermon is based on Joel 2:

12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13     and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
    and he relents over disaster.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
    and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
    for the Lord your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
16     gather the people.
Consecrate the congregation;
    assemble the elders;
gather the children,
even nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
    and the bride her chamber.
17 Between the vestibule and the altar
    let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep
and say, “Spare your people, O Lord,
    and make not your heritage a reproach,
    a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
    ‘Where is their God?’”
18 Then the Lord became jealous for his land
    and had pity on his people.
19 The Lord answered and said to his people,
“Behold, I am sending to you
    grain, wine, and oil,
    and you will be satisfied;
and I will no more make you
    a reproach among the nations.

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Bible Study: Please join us on Sunday mornings at 9:45 am for a deep dive into Scripture or on Tuesday nights for a focused study on the book of Revelation. Please note during the season of Lent the midweek class meets on Tuesdays; not Wednesdays. The midweek class meets via Zoom so please contact Pastor for a meeting link.

Lent: Join us at 6 pm on Wednesday nights for Vespers. Please note there is no soup dinner and worship starts at a new time (6 pm).

Donations: Even during the pandemic and with a decline in attendance, the expenses still go on. If you wish to make a donation please mail them to the St. James post office box as that is a secure location. You may also donate online.

Prayer requests. Bring your prayer requests to Pastor Jenson, Deacon Poe, or Loyd Harris (bulletin typist). They will be printed in the bulletin and prayed in the Sunday service. The deadline is Tuesday. Remember to obtain permission if you are bringing a prayer request on behalf of another person.

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