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Ash Wednesday: an understanding & a prayer of confession

February 22, 2023

AN UNDERSTANDING. Lent is a very personal time, so The United Methodist Church does not have official guidelines on how individuals should observe Lent via a fast or in any other way.

Some choose to give up a certain food, however a spirit of fasting can include restriction of luxuries such as television
watching, shopping and spending time on the computer.

We can give away clothing or possessions to those in need, give our time by volunteering or we can pray more often alone or
with family members.

SOURCE: website of the Central Texas UMC

A PRAYER OF CONFESSION. I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
(Psalms 51:3, NRSV)

O, God, when we pause to look back at our lives on this Ash Wednesday, we realize that we have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. 

We have neglected to do good when it was in our power to do so. 

We, like believers of old, have pulled down your altars
and erected idols crafted in our own image. 

We have turned our backs on the poor,
choosing instead to criminalize poverty. 

We have ignored the cries of the motherless, the fatherless,
the widow and the widower
choosing instead to turn children and the elderly into the new poor. 

We have bankrupted the country with our greed and
consumed more than our share of the world’s riches 

We have not dealt honorably with our enemies or our friends,
and we have feigned a place in the company of the righteous. 

Forgive us, O God, for turning sackcloth and ashes into a fashion statement
by pursuing form without substance. 

Forgive us, O God, for the times we have neglected to provide our children
and our world an authentic example of Christianity. 

As we begin the journey of these 40 days
Wash us, O God and we shall be clean
Cleanse us, O Lord, and we shall be made whole. Amen.


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