Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Ash Wednesday Holy Communion

February 14, 2024

The service begins in silence


We gather together at the edge of a new season.

We stand together on the cusp of something new.

Will we wade into self-reflection?

Will we invite honesty to dance?

Will we listen for God’s invitation?

Will we seek deeper faith?

What kind of fast do we choose? What kind of faith will we build?

We gather together at the edge of a new season.

Listen, God is speaking.


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Let us pray. Almighty and ever-living God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new and honest hearts, so that, truly repenting of our sins, we may receive from you, the God of all mercy, full pardon and forgiveness through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


FIRST READING Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

Because of the coming day of the Lord, the prophet Joel calls the people to a community lament. The repentant community declares that God is gracious and asks God to spare the people lest the nations doubt God’s power to save.

A reading from Joel.

1Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming,
it is near—
2a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread upon the mountains
a great and powerful army comes;
their like has never been from of old,
nor will be again after them
in ages to come.

12Yet even now, says the Lord,
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping,
and with mourning;
13rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in
steadfast love,
and relents from punishing.
14Who knows whether he will not turn
and relent,

and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the Lord, your God?

15Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
16gather the people.
Sanctify the congregation;
assemble the aged;
gather the children,
even infants at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her canopy.

17Between the vestibule and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep.
Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord,
and do not make your heritage
a mockery,
a byword among the nations.
Why should it be said among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”

Word of God, word of life.

Thanks be to God.

PSALM 51:1-17 Carl Schalk

The first time the Cantor/Choir will sing once, then the congregation will repeat

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Verses sung alternately by the cantor/choir and congregation

1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your | steadfast love; in your great compassion blot out | my offenses.

2Wash me through and through | from my wickedness, and cleanse me | from my sin.

3For I know | my offenses, and my sin is ev- | er before me.

4Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil | in your sight; so you are justified when you speak and right | in your judgment. R

5Indeed, I was born | steeped in wickedness, a sinner from my | mother’s womb.

6Indeed, you delight in truth | deep within me, and would have me know wisdom | deep within.

7Remove my sins with hyssop, and I | shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be pur- | er than snow.

8Let me hear | joy and gladness; that the body you have broken | may rejoice. R

9Hide your face | from my sins, and blot out | all my wickedness.

10Create in me a clean | heart, O God, and renew a right spir- | it within me.

11Cast me not away | from your presence, and take not your Holy Spir- | it from me.

12Restore to me the joy of | your salvation and sustain me with your boun- | tiful Spirit. R

13Let me teach your ways | to offenders, and sinners shall be re- | stored to you.

14Rescue me from bloodshed, O God of | my salvation, and my tongue shall sing | of your righteousness.

15O Lord, o- | pen my lips, and my mouth shall pro- | claim your praise.

16For you take no delight in sacrifice, or | I would give it.

You are not pleased | with burnt offering.

17The sacrifice of God is a | troubled spirit; a troubled and broken heart, O God, you will | not despise. R


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GOSPEL MATTHEW 6:1-6, 16-21

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus commends almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, but emphasizes that spiritual devotion must not be done for show.

The Holy Gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.

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

The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

HOMILY Pastor Jeff

HYMN OF DAY All Things of Dust to Dust Return ACS 920

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The season of Lent arrives again, and we long for God to speak to us. Our weary spirits cry out for renewal and resurrection. We call on God to meet us wherever we are at, and to stay with us on a journey that leads to Easter.

We wonder how we can keep this season; how we can pray, what we might give up, how we might serve others. Our hearts wander; our journeys are not polished or linear or perfect. Yet God walks with us every step of the way.

As we begin this season then, let us start with a blank slate, confessing our sin and receiving God’s forgiveness. God knows the truth of our brokenness, yet we voice it aloud so that we name it and move beyond it, eager to hear God’s promise of love guiding our path.

Silence for reflection and self-examination.

Most holy and merciful God, we confess to you and to one another, and before the whole company of heaven, that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

Our past unfaithfulness, the pride, envy, hypocrisy, and apathy that have infected our worship and our lives, we confess to you.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people, we confess to you.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

Our neglect of human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, we confess to you.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

Our false judgments, our uncharitable thoughts, our prejudice, we confess to you.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

Our waste and pollution of your creation; our lack of concern for those who come after us, we confess to you.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

Restore us, O God, and let us see your loving face once more.

Hear us, O God, for your mercy is great.


Those who desire to receive ashes come forward and kneel before the altar.
The pastors apply ashes to the forehead of each person with the words:

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

DURING IMPOSITION Remember That You Are Dust

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700 pm Remember Larry Harris

Chancel Choir

O Lamm Gottes unschuldig Johann Pachelbel
Yeon Soh

Wer nur den lieben Gott last walten Georg Bohm
Yeon Soh

After all who desire ashes have received them, the pastor concludes:

Accomplish in us, O God, the work of your salvation,
that we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of your Son, our Savior,

Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.


Alive through Christ’s mercy, reconciled to God and to each other,

let us lift up our prayers for the church and our world.

O God of our salvation,

our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.

Restore broken hearts to wholeness:

heal the sick; feed the hungry; shelter the homeless; and warm the cold.

Restore broken nations to wholeness: undermine the corrupt; manipulate power to heal weakness, break weapons of war; and guide refugees home.

Restore broken churches to wholeness:

teach your living word; share your love; give your blessings; remake us in your image.

For what else do we pray?

(The congregation is invited to share their individual prayers aloud or in silence)

In you, we rest with joy and gladness.

You restore our souls, O Mender of Hearts. Amen.


The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.

OFFERING INVITATION (Gifts may be made online via debit or credit card using the QR code on the back of the bulletin)


O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen  Johannes Brahms

Yeon Soh

OFFERING ANTHEM 700 pm Lord Jesus, Think on Me arr. Georgiann H. Toole

Chancel Choir

PRESENTATION OF GIFTS Create in Me a Clean Heart

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Let us pray. Jesus, you draw us close to you and to each other. Bless these gifts that we have gathered so all may know your goodness. Feed us not only with bread and wine but with hunger for justice and thirst for peace. We pray this in your name. Amen.


The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior Jesus Christ. You call your people to search their hearts and prepare with joy for the paschal feast, that, renewed in the gift of baptism, we may come to the fullness of your grace. And so, with all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


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Merciful God, you are indeed holy, bringing forth life out of ashes.

You so loved the broken world that you gave your only Son,

showing us the power of your redemption.

We come to Jesus’ table, carrying fears and hurts in wandering hearts, seeking a place to belong.

In telling the story of his life, we find the courage

to walk through the ocean waves, to run to the tomb, to speak our faith.

And when our world falls apart, we hear God’s voice saying, “Take heart, it is I. Be not afraid.”

We remember the night before he was betrayed, when Jesus gathered with his friends.

He took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying:

This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people

for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

When we eat this bread and drink this cup,

we encounter and proclaim the living God, dwelling in the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Send your Spirit into our gathering at this table, that we may find a home in your grace.

And send us out to wander again, nourishing the world with your love. Amen.


Let us pray as Jesus taught us, each in the words or language of our choice.

Our Father, who 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 trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.


Come to the table and receive the gift we didn’t know that we needed: bread for the journey, strength for the weary, home for wandering hearts.


At this table, Christ is both host and meal, and offers himself to all who hunger and thirst for his presence.

We believe that he is truly present in this sacrament.

Come to the front, where bread is placed in your hand (you can request a gluten-free wafer), and where you receive wine by taking a cup from the tray (the cups in the center contain white grape juice).

If you do not wish to commune, you are welcome to come forward and receive a blessing.

If you need to receive communion in your seat, simply notify an usher.

No one is too young to receive this sacrament, though some families wish to give their children some instruction before they take their first communion. If a young child accompanies you to the rail, please indicate to the pastor whether they should receive bread or a blessing.


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COMMUNION HYMNS Just As I Am, without One Plea ELW 592

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Beautiful Things ACS 925

In the purple pew hymnal


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in God’s grace. Amen.


Let us pray. Companion God, at this table you have awakened our hearts to the goodness of your love. Send us now as your disciples, exploring and wandering, yet committed to sharing such love for the good of the world. Amen.


The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord’s face shine upon you with grace and mercy.
The Lord look upon you with favor and ☩ give you peace.


SENDING HYMN Restore in Us, O God ELW 328 A sheet music with black and white text Description automatically generated


Go in peace. Christ walks with you! Thanks be to God.

POSTLUDE Werde munter, mein Gemüte Johann G. Walther

Yeon Soh

Thanks to those who helped with worship today!

12:00 pm

Worship Assistant Becky N

Presenters Ellen C & Carie C

Ushers Janet & David G

Altar Care Stephanie L


7:00 pm

Worship Assistant Jochen S

Presenters Morgan & Tate A

Ushers Oliver & Franz-Joseph G

Livestream Operator Ernie Z

Altar Care Stephanie L

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From Sundays and © 2024 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #27028. Great Thanksgiving adapted from Will Ed Green, 2019. New Revised Standard Version Bible, ©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. CCLI#1313879. OneLicense # A-716488 Ash Wednesday 2024.docx
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