Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Season of Lent. Today we look at Psalm 51:1-5 and practice the act of confession.
:07 Welcome to the meditation and worship series with Westside church. Over the next few weeks, we will be meditating on scripture and diving into some practices. As we walk through the season of lent. Our hope is that over the course of this Lenten season, this time of meditation and worship can be a breath of fresh air as we journey towards Easter together. So let us start by pausing for a moment and focusing our attention to Jesus. And may we be expected of the movement of the holy spirit and our time together, if you're in a place to do so close your eyes, hold out your hands in front of you in a posture of surrender, take a deep breath in and out one more in and out.
01:04 We start here. The beginning of lent on Ash Wednesday, a day, rich in history and the liturgy of the Christian Church in the first few centuries of the church preparation for Easter would normally span just a day or two a week. At most. It was a time of repentance and readying for the believer for the holy baptism that would take place on Easter Sunday. It evolved from there into a 40 day period of preparation that all believers felt necessary to partake in. It has become a time of fasting repentance and self-examination that we now know it to be Linton comes from a word meaning spring, like we know spring to be in central Oregon. After a long winter season, it is a season of hope of the promise of life and renewal and restoration. It is a journey from the cold, long winter nights into fresh new life in days of spring.
02:09 If you could imagine the greatest person on earth, the one who you would be the most excited to meet, would that be now, imagine that person was coming to visit your home, to have dinner and spend time with you. What would be the first thing that you do clean probably right. You wouldn't want them to enter a dirty house with things scattered about in a layer of dust over everything. This is a lot like lent. It is a cleaning out of the dingy stuff inside of us. It's a process of self-examination and turning away from our sinful nature to look towards Christ repenting and asking forgiveness. And by doing this, we make our house ready for Christ to experience the fullness of Christ in his death and resurrection.
03:10 Psalm 51 is a prayer of confession and repentance from king David, after being confronted with his own sin, it gives us an outline of where to begin. Not only when we confess and ask for repentance, but also helps us recognize the need to be cleansed from the effects of sin. In these first few verses of the song. We see David coming before the Lord and petitioning him for mercy. He takes full ownership of his wrongdoing and acknowledges that the Lord is in the right Psalm 51 verses one through five. Look on me with a heart of mercy. Oh God. According to your generous love, according to your great compassion, wipe out every consequence of my shameful crimes thoroughly wash me inside and out of all of my crooked deeds cleanse me from my sins for, I am fully aware of all I have done wrong.
04:16 And my guilt is there staring me in the face. It was against you, only you that I sinned for. I have done what you say is wrong right before your eyes. So when you speak, you are in the right. When you judge your judgements are pure and true for, I was guilty from the day I was born a sinner from the time my mother became pregnant with me throughout the next 40 days, we're going to be incorporating some practices into our meditation in prayer. For some of you, these may be new ways of experiencing the presence of God and for others, they may already be part of your daily life. We're going to walk through them together. So don't fear if you've never done it before today, we're going to walk through a simple act of confession. We're going to take a cue from David.
05:14 I'm going to read those verses again, and you can pray them along with me. If something comes to mind, confess it and ask for forgiveness. This is just between you and God. Be honest and open. Pastor Adele Calhoun writes true. Repentance means we open the bad in our lives to God. We invite him to come right in and look at our sin with us. We tell it like it is without rationalization, denial, or blame to the only person in the universe who will unconditionally love us. When we are bad, we hand over the pretense image, manipulation control and self obsession in the presence of the holy one. We give up on appearing good and fixing our sin. We lay down our ability to change by the power of self. We turn to Jesus and seek forgiveness. Psalm 51, 1 through five.
06:24 Look on me with a heart of mercy. Oh God. According to your generous love, according to your great compassion, wipe out every consequence of my shameful crimes thoroughly wash me inside and out of all, my crooked deeds cleanse me from my sins for, I am fully aware of all I have done wrong. And my guilt is there. Staring me in the face. It was against you. Only you that I send for, I have done what you say is wrong right before your eyes. So when you speak, you are in the right. When you judge your judgements are pure and true for, I was guilty from the day I was born a sinner from the time my mother became pregnant with me. Pastor Lindsay has written a song of repentance as she sings, close your eyes. If you're able, let the words of the song wash over. You, turn away from sin and towards Jesus and his forgiveness. Jesus, we are so thankful for your work on the cross. Thank you that we can come before you with all of our stuff. We invite you in to look at the sin in our lives, show us any disobedience or hurt. We may have caused others, forgive us of our sins. And may we be ever so forgiving to those that have wronged us. Thank you Jesus. For forgiveness. Thank you for grace and thank you for your unconditional and unwavering love for each one of us.