Virtual Worship – Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021

First Presbyterian Church

Delavan, Illinois

February 17, 2021

Ash Wednesday

Welcome and Announcements

Good morning everyone. We continue to do a new thing in this time of social distancing. We are still a community of faith, even though we are separated for the safety of ourselves, our families, our congregation, and our communities. We will continue to offer this service for the foreseeable future. 

In this bulletin, you will find links to the hymns which also show the lyrics (or are shown below). If you get an ad (and you likely will) you can skip it by clicking the SKIP AD usually found in the lower right corner of the video. There are also links to the Gospel reading and the sermon.

For inclusion in next week’s service, please email or phone the church or Pastor Jean (who can also receive texts) with any prayer requests.

We have resumed LIMITED in-person worship. Please read the guidelines below!

We offer praise and prayer to God

Call to Worship

God sent Christ into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

God’s love endures forever.

God is our refuge and strength, a present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though the waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

God’s love endures forever.

Prayer of the Day

Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and neighbors. Call forth our prayers and acts of tenderness, and strengthen us to face our mortality, that we may reach with confidence for your mercy; in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This”  (vs.1-3) # 200

The Word

Prayer for Illumination

Gracious God, we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from your mouth. Make us hungry for this heavenly food, that it may nourish us today in the ways of eternal life; through Jesus Christ, the bread of heaven. Amen.

First Reading  Isaiah 58:1–12

1      Shout out, do not hold back!

      Lift up your voice like a trumpet!

      Announce to my people their rebellion,

      to the house of Jacob their sins.

2      Yet day after day they seek me

      and delight to know my ways,

      as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness

      and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;

      they ask of me righteous judgments,

      they delight to draw near to God.

3      “Why do we fast, but you do not see?

      Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”

      Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,

      and oppress all your workers.

4      Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight

      and to strike with a wicked fist.

      Such fasting as you do today

      will not make your voice heard on high.

5      Is such the fast that I choose,

      a day to humble oneself?

      Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,

      and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?

      Will you call this a fast,

      a day acceptable to the LORD?

6      Is not this the fast that I choose:

      to loose the bonds of injustice,

      to undo the thongs of the yoke,

      to let the oppressed go free,

      and to break every yoke?

7      Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,

      and bring the homeless poor into your house;

      when you see the naked, to cover them,

      and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

8      Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,

      and your healing shall spring up quickly;

      your vindicator shall go before you,

      the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

9      Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;

      you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

      If you remove the yoke from among you,

      the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

10      if you offer your food to the hungry

      and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

      then your light shall rise in the darkness

      and your gloom be like the noonday.

11      The LORD will guide you continually,

      and satisfy your needs in parched places,

      and make your bones strong;

      and you shall be like a watered garden,

      like a spring of water,

      whose waters never fail.

12      Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;

      you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

      you shall be called the repairer of the breach,

      the restorer of streets to live in.

Second Reading  2 Corinthians 5:20b–6:10

we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,

      “At an acceptable time I have listened to you,

      and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”

See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Hymn “Amazing Grace” (vs. 1-3) # 546

Gospel Reading  Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21

1“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 

5“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

16“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Sermon          The Road To The Cross

Invitation to the Observance of the Lenten Discipline Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; in your great compassion blot out my offenses.

Wash me through and through from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.

And so you are justified when you speak and upright in your judgment.

Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, a sinner from my mother’s womb.

For behold, you look for truth deep within me, and will make me understand wisdom secretly.

Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.

Make me hear of joy and gladness, that the body you have broken may rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy Spirit from me.

Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.

I shall teach your ways to the wicked, and sinners shall return to you.

Deliver me from death, O God, and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness, O God of my salvation.

Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice, but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Litany of Penitence

Let us pray.

Holy and merciful God, we confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.

Have mercy on us, O God.

We have not listened to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

Have mercy on us, O God.

We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness: The pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives,

we confess to you, O God.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways and our exploitation of other people,

we confess to you, O God.

Our anger at our own frustration and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,

we confess to you, O God.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,

we confess to you, O God.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,

we confess to you, O God.

Accept our repentance, O God, for the wrongs we have done. For our neglect of human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,

accept our repentance, O God.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,

accept our repentance, O God.

For our waste and pollution of your creation and our lack of concern for those who come after us,

accept our repentance, O God.

Restore us, O God, and let your anger depart from us.

Favorably hear us, O God, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us, O God, the work of your salvation,

That we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of our Savior,

bring us with all your saints to the joy of Christ’s resurrection.

Hymn “Just As I Am, Without One Plea”  (vs. 1-3) # 339


God of compassion, through your Son Jesus Christ you reconciled your people to yourself. Following his example of prayer and fasting, may we obey you with willing hearts and serve one another in holy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer




Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


May the God of peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being— spirit, soul, and body— free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.