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Notes on the Notes – March 6, 2019

be still 12

Scripture Readings:

Isaiah 58:1-12       Psalm 51:1-17     2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

Service Music: 

“Be Still and Know”

“Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God.”

During the season of Lent, this contemplative refrain will give us the opportunity to center ourselves in preparation for worship.

Psalm 51 (VU #776 – Refrain 1)

“God, I call to you for help,
In your mercy hear my prayer.”

Throughout the season of Lent, we will be using music with the Psalms.  This refrain comes from a hymn that was written by Joseph Parry in 1879.

“A New Heart”

“God gives a deep assurance to people in despair.
When the future feels uncertain and no one seems to care,
The word of God comes ringing to still our deepest fear:

Doubt crowds our fragile vision, our energy runs low.
We’re gripped by deep confusion and our response is slow.
Then Jesus stands among us and clearly helps us know:

Each fibre of our being cries out that we may see
God’s will and purpose for us and all humanity,
While echoes through the ages the song that sets us free:

A new heart I will give you,
A new hope for today;
A new heart and a new hope
And strength to walk the way.”

This song was written by Dianne Taylor and Ken Powers, of Heritage United Church in Regina in 1988.  The words expand on the idea of the need for a clean heart, as in Psalm 51, in order to serve God.

*What is Ash Wednesday? 

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the ceremonial practice of burning palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday, and using the ashes to mark a cross on the foreheads of participants.   This practice serves to make us mindful that we are entering the season of Lent, generally a time of reflection and repentance.  By observing Ash Wednesday, we make a conscious effort to be present in the season of Lent.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in Western Christianity.  It occurs 46 days before Easter.  According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke,  Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert.  Lent originated as a mirroring of this, fasting 40 days (not including Sundays) as preparation for Easter.  In many communities the tradition of fasting was replaced by “giving up something for Lent.”

To ponder:  

As we go through the Ash Wednesday doorway that leads to Lent, what do we take with us, and what awaits us on the other side?

Categories: Notes on the Notes