Saint Alban's Anglican Church

Committed to sharing Christ's Commandments: To love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves, through worship, education and outreach.



Ash Wednesday

02/13/2013 - Advent Service


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Old Testament Lesson


Isaiah 58:1-12
58:1 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 practised righteousness
   and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgements,
   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 rearguard.
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.


Psalm 103


Psalm 103
1Bless the LORD, O my soul, *
and all that is within me, bless his holy Name.
2Bless the LORD, O my soul, *
and forget not all his benefits.
3He forgives all your sins *
and heals all your infirmities;
4He redeems your life from the grave *
and crowns you with mercy and loving kindness;
5He satisfies you with good things, *
and your youth is renewed like an eagle''s.
6The LORD executes righteousness *
and judgment for all who are oppressed.
7He made his ways known to Moses *
and his works to the children of Israel.
8The LORD is full of compassion and mercy, *
slow to anger and of great kindness.
9He will not always accuse us, *
nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10He has not dealt with us according to our sins, *
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
11For as the heavens are high above the earth, *
so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
12As far as the east is from the west, *
so far has he removed our sins from us.
13As a father cares for his children, *
so does the LORD care for those who fear him.
14For he himself knows whereof we are made; *
he remembers that we are but dust.
15Our days are like the grass; *
we flourish like a flower of the field;
16When the wind goes over it, it is gone, *
and its place shall know it no more.
17But the merciful goodness of the LORD endures for ever
    on those who fear him, *
and his righteousness on children''s children;
18On those who keep his covenant *
and remember his commandments and do them.
19The LORD has set his throne in heaven, *
and his kingship has dominion over all.
20Bless the LORD, you angels of his,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding, *
and hearken to the voice of his word.
21Bless the LORD, all you his hosts, *
you ministers of his who do his will.
22Bless the LORD, all you works of his,
    in all places of his dominion; *
bless the LORD, O my soul.

New Testament Lesson


2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10
5:20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

6:1As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2 For 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! 3 We are putting no obstacle in anyone''s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way:through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7 truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see-we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.


Gospel


Matthew 6:1-6,16-21
6:1 ''Beware of practising 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. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so 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. 6 But 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. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so 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; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Sermon



New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of Ameria. Used by permission. All rights reserved.