Faith Improvised

*A homily given on Ash Wednesday at Midtown Christian Community, Feb. 17, 2010

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Joel 2:1-2,12-17
Isaiah 58:1-12
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Matthew 6:1-6,16-21
Psalm 103

Our passages for today have a fairly recognizable pattern to them.  We are called upon to repent, to turn from destructive practices and habits, and to genuinely begin to do what is right.  But upon closer inspection, there are some edges to these texts that prevent us from skipping too quickly through them. …

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