Calvary United Methodist Church | 131 West Second Street | Frederick, MD 21701 301-662-1464 office@calvaryumc.org

Ash Wednesday

INVITATION and READINGS

Come all that seek Him. You are welcome, for God is seeking you.

 

Psalm 51: 10-17

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

so that sinners will turn back to you.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,

you who are God my Savior,

and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

15 Open my lips, Lord,

and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart

you, God, will not despise.

Isaiah 64: 8

8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;

we are the clay, and you are our potter;

we are all the work of your hand.

All glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

HYMN REFLECTION

The request sounds so easy: “Change my heart, God.” I would simply ask God to change my heart, and magically it might be so. I am almost a bystander, a non-active participant. So, onward I go in blissful ignorance, not fully understanding the importance of preparing my heart and soul to receive the saving power of God.

Yes, as Methodists we believe that all are offered God’s “preceding” grace, but that cannot be the end of it. Wesley teaches that God indeed initiates salvation in each of us. However, an ongoing relationship through faith is essential in fully realizing that salvation. Wesley further believes that “the great end of religion is to renew our hearts in the image of God, to repair that total loss of righteousness and true holiness which we sustained by the sin of our first parent” (Original Sin, III.5). (https://www.umc.org/en/content/ask-the-umc-how-did-john-wesley-understand-original-sin)

So, if I am to gain from this Lenten season, now upon us, I need to set my heart ready for the journey, and Psalm 51 is a good place to start! A willing spirit to walk with the Lord, and a heart that is contrite, even broken, that it may be repaired and refined in Christ – this is what I need; this is what I want; this is what God wants. Praise Him!

“Change My Heart, O God” (TFWS #2152) is a simple, yet effective contemporary hymn that reflects such a desire. It was written in 1982 by Eddie Espinosa, an experienced worship leader and songwriter. He has also recorded with the Maranatha Praise Bands and with the Anaheim Vineyard.

I find myself softly humming and singing this hymn like a chant or mantra, unaware that it was helping to prepare my mind and heart for, I pray, God’s intervention.

https://youtu.be/IlSmG-_eJTU

 

PRAYER

Dear God, I humbly come to you with a repentant heart, asking you to change it for your purpose. I am prepared to walk with you along the way, no longer taking your love for granted.

Oh Lord, let not my heart be hardened, as clay that has been fired in the kiln and fixed in incomplete form. Rather, let it be re-constituted by your grace, and molded by your hands. I surrender to your will that I may know you more fully, and work in this world as your servant. I pray to you, my God. Amen.

Change my heart oh God

Make it ever true

Change my heart oh God

May I be like You

You are the potter

I am the clay

Mold me and make me

This is what I pray

Change my heart oh God

Make it ever true

Change my heart oh God

May I be like You

Eddie Espinosa

Offered by Joche Wilmot, Director of Music Ministries