Ash Wednesday February 22, 2023

Pastor: David Range

Miramar United Methodist Church
 place for gathering, healing, and sending out friends, helping to create a sense of family to find new life in Christ
Part of the United Methodist family where we make disciples for the Transformation of the world

 Order of Worship
Ash Wednesday Service
February 22, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

Prepare for Worship
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on us. As we enter this season of reflection and repentance, cleanse us, heal us, lift us, and direct us only toward your will. In moments of joy and in moments of sorrow, in moments of peace and in moments of war, in moments of abundance and in our moments of need, abide with us, abide with us. Abide with us. Amen.

Call to Worship

The day of the Lord is coming! The day of the Lord is near!
The time is fulfilled: The reign of God is at hand!
O people, repent! Believe in the gospel!
Come, let us turn and follow the Lord!

Hymn 417 O For a Heart to Praise My God

1 O for a heart to praise my God, a heart from sin set free,
a heart that always feel thy blood so freely shed for me.

2 A heart resigned, submissive, meek, my great Redeemer's throne,
where only Christ is heard to speak, where Jesus reigns alone.

3 A humble, lowly, contrite heart, believing, true, and clean,
which neither life nor death can part from Christ who dwells within.

4 A heart in every thought renewed and full of love divine,
perfect and right and pure and good, a copy, Lord, of thine.

5 Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart; come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart, thy new, best name of Love.

WORDS: Charles Wesley, 1742 MUSIC: Thomas Haweis, 1792

Opening Prayer

LEADER: Why have we gathered in this place?

PEOPLE: We come in praise of the God of all life and in affirmation of Jesus Christ as the truth and center of our lives. We celebrate places where love is found in life, and we give thanks for the gift of new life that comes to us this Lenten season.

LEADER: Rend your hearts and not your garments; return to your God.

PEOPLE: For God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

LEADER: I know well my misdeeds, and my sin is ever before me.

PEOPLE: Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

LEADER: Let us ask God to break forth light into the dark places of our hearts and confront us with hidden and secret sin, all that we keep in the dark.

PEOPLE: O God, open our hearts.

LEADER: Our preoccupation with ourselves,

PEOPLE: O God, open our hearts.

LEADER: Our lustful imaginations, our secret ambitions,

PEOPLE: O God, open our hearts.

LEADER: The buried grudge, the half-acknowledged enmity,

PEOPLE: O God, open our hearts.

LEADER: The bitterness of some past loss not yet offered to you,

PEOPLE: O God, open our hearts.

LEADER: The private comforts to which we cling,

PEOPLE: O God, open our hearts.


LEADER: The fear of failure which saps our initiative,

PEOPLE: O God, open our hearts.

LEADER: The pessimism that is an insult to your will and power,

PEOPLE: O God, open our hearts. Here and now, O Holy One, we bring our secret sins to you, we lie open in your sight. Let your piercing light be also our healing, for the sake of Jesus Christ, who both taught us and brought us your forgiveness. Amen.

Scripture Lesson:  Joel 2.1-2, 12-17, Matthew 6:16-18

Children’s Time                                                 

Hymn 655 Fix Me, Jesus

Oh, fix me, oh, fix me,
Oh, fix me; fix me, Jesus, fix me.

1 Fix me for my long, white robe, fix me, Jesus, fix me.
Fix me for my starry crown, fix me, Jesus, fix me.

Oh, fix me, oh, fix me,
Oh, fix me; fix me, Jesus, fix me.

2 Fix me for my journey home, fix me, Jesus, fix me.
Fix me for my dying bed, fix me, Jesus, fix me. 

Oh, fix me, oh, fix me,
Oh, fix me; fix me, Jesus, fix me.

WORDS: Afro-American spiritual MUSIC: Afro-American spiritual; adapt. And arr. by William Farley Smith

Reflection: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Hymn 337 Only Trust Him

1. Come, every soul by sin oppressed, there’s mercy with the Lord,
And He will surely give you rest by trusting in His Word.
Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.

2. For Jesus shed His precious blood rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood that washes white as snow.
Only trust Him, only trust Him, Only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.

3. Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way, that leads you into rest;
Believe in Him without delay and you are fully blest.
Only trust Him, only trust Him, Only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.

4. Come, then, and join this holy band, and on to glory go,
To dwell in that celestial land where joys immortal flow.
Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.


Invitation to the Observance of a Holy Lent

Beloved, we embark upon the march toward Easter with the sign of ashes. This ancient sign reminds us that we are flesh, that we sin, and that we fail to lean on God and instead lean on our own understanding. As we begin the journey, join me in spending the next forty days by examining yourself and by re-energizing any part of your faith walk that has become dull or lifeless. Examine your work for the Kingdom of God; examine your goals, your interests, your hopes, your relationships, your finances, and your health, all of which are part of your stewardship contract with God. Observe a holy Lent season through self-examination and penitence, by prayer and fasting, by works of justice and works of love, and by reading and meditating on the Word.

Prayer of Confession: Psalm 51 (UMH 785)

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
   blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
   and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned,
   and done that which is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
   and blameless in your judgement.
5 Behold, I was born into iniquity,
   and I have been sinful since my mother conceived me.


6 Behold, you desire truth in the inward being;
   therefore, teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me hear with joy and gladness;
   let the bones which you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
   and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
   and take not your holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
   and sustain in me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
   and sinners will return to you.

14 Deliver me from death, O God, God of my salvation,
   and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
   and my mouth shall show forth your praise.

16 For you have no delight in sacrifice;
   were I to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
   a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen, Amen.

Thanksgiving over the Ashes

Loving God, you create us from the dust of the earth; may  ashes be for us a sign of our penitence and our mortality, and a reminder that only by the cross do we receive eternal life in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Sign of Ashes:          

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.  
--Genesis 3.19, NRSV
Please come forward to receive the mark of ashes on your forehead, later, at home when you want to remove the ashes. Please use an oily cloth or paper towel to wipe it off and refrain from getting any in your eyes. 

Assurance of God’s Mercy

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. He will feed his flock like a shepherd and gather the lambs in his arms.   —based on Isaiah 40:11; 53:4-5

May God the Father, who does not despise the broken spirit, give us contrite hearts. May Christ, who bore our sins in his body on the tree, heal us by his wounds. May the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth, speak words of pardon and peace.

The Peace Paul Experiences: 2 Corinthians 5.20-6.10

Offering: Please use the baskets at one of the three doors.


Holy God, as we start the journey of Lent give us a will of repentance, a mind of sacrificial love, and a heart of gratitude. Indeed, you are “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love…” We offer our gifts and our whole selves, asking that you might strengthen us for the journey, in the name of Christ, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.


Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, which art in heaven:
Hallowed be Thy name. 
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. 
For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory forever.  Amen.

Hymn 382 Have Thine Own Way, Lord!

1 Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter; I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still.

2 Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Search me and try me, Savior today!
Wash me just now, Lord, wash me just now,
as in thy presence humbly I bow.

3 Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

4 Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway.
Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!
WORDS: Adelaide A. Pollard, 1902 MUSIC: George C. Stebbins, 190

Sending Forth

We go forth by the grace of God as his people journeying to the cross, the empty tomb and life eternal.

May God, who has forgiven us now make us strong for these days ahead.
May Jesus lead us, and we be found faithful to follow.
May the Spirit drive us into the wilderness, burning away the chaff of our lives, and purifying our hearts for all to see and be blessed.

And may the blessing of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Mercy, Master, and Fire,
Be with us and remain with us always!’’

Please join again in worship on Sundays at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m.