on ash wednesday

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We come to be united with the blackened earth as we receive the mark of ash on our skin. Just as new growth surely follows the fire so new things await us as we make this journey of repentance.

Because we have covered ourselves with pride and arrogance:
Clean us and set us free.

Since we have been content with the empty and the superficial:
Fill us from the depths of love.

When we become trapped in old patterns and struggles:
Life our eyes in hope.

Even though we are broken and far short of perfection:
Form us for loving service.

After our best efforts have met with rejection and discouragement:
Encourage us still to trust.

So we bring before God all that is in our life, knowing that we can hold nothing back from the fire of love which consumes even those faults which we dearly cherish.

Let us then share these ashes from each other’s hands and know that God will surely fulfill the promise of newness within our life.

Phillip Freier,
Australia
from Let Justice Roll Down

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