Anointing of Ashes

Anointing of Ashes

March 2, 2022 | Ash Wednesday

Meditation | “Waiting for the Light” | by Walt Wiltschek
“Sometimes darkness seems to last forever. We gaze toward the horizon for any gleams of light, raysof hope. This is the nature of Lent, a season …. given to
wilderness wandering and discernment,prayer and preparation. .… embrace the journey, but keep an eye on the horizon. The light is coming.”

Scripture Focus | Isaiah 59:9-15a | New International Version (NIV)
So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows
10 Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.
11 We all growl like bears; we moan mournfully like doves.
We look for justice, but find none; for deliverance, but it is far away.
12 For our offenses are many in your sight, [O God,] and our sins testify against us.
Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities:
13 rebellion and treachery against the Lord, turning our backs on our God,
inciting revolt and oppression, uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
14 So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance;
truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.
15a Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

Prayer | Prayer for Intercession | Richard J. Einerson: Prayers of the People (adapted)
Loving, leading, God – we pray to focus our attention on your abiding presence;
as we begin this Lenten journey; seeking the light of a new way of being. 
When we are weak-kneed and world weary soothe us.
When we have lost our way or lost hope may we hear You calling us; softly and tenderly.
When we cannot banish from our minds and continue to hold close the sins of the past 
give us the courage to claim Your grace and to say: “enough is enough.”
When we are fearful of our own mortality give us trust in Your existence which endures forever.
In the midst of the despair that life can present; cause us to find well-being in Your unconditional love. 
Encourage us toward a gracious way of living.
Hearten us to know the strength of Your companionship.
Inspire us to know that You will “feed us like a shepherd.”
Reassure us to know that You will hold us close.
Comfort us to know that You will gently lead us.
What we pray for ourselves we also pray for others. 
Be with all Your children who experience inhumanity. 
Be in the places of war and conflict, in the sufferings caused by natural disasters, persecution and famine. 
May all the earth be captured by the will to love. 
May all the earth be touched to change as it is drawn toward Your Light.

May it be so – AMEN