Ash Wed – Responsive Reading
Pastor: Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. The date is set by counting back forty days from Easter (excluding Sundays), which takes us to the Wednesday seven weeks before Easter. Why forty days? Each day symbolizes one of the forty days when Jesus fasted in the wilderness, before Satan tempted Him.
Congr:At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. – Mark 1:12-13
Pastor: Ashes are a reminder, in Scripture, of our mortality and frailty resulting from the curse of the Fall.
Congr:”Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, – Genesis 18:27b
Pastor: The Bible also uses ashes as a sign of sorrow or repentance.
Congr:Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went. – 2 Samuel 13:19
Men: We are to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. – Matthew 3:8
Women: We must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. Acts 20:21
Men: We are to Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. – Matthew 3:2
Pastor: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9
Congr.: We are to Repent and be baptized, all of us, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. And we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – Acts 2:38
Pastor: If we repent, and turn to God, so that our sins may be wiped out; times of refreshing may come from the Lord, – Acts 3:19
Scripture text NIV (Emphasis mine)
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society