HymnSite.com's Suggested Hymns

Ash Wednesday

February 17, 1999

Unifying Theme:
Repentance and humility

Scripture Theme Hymns
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Isaiah 58:1-12
Blow the trumpet; call the people to return to God 355: Depth of Mercy
357: Just as I Am, Without One Plea
379: Blow Ye the Trumpet, Blow
Psalm 51:1-17 The broken and contrite heart 351: Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
363: And Can It Be that I Should Gain
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Private acts of righteousness 153: Thou Hidden Source of Calm Repose
414: Thou Hidden Love of God
427: Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 Be reconciled to God 479: Jesus, Lover of My Soul
562: Jesus, Lord, We Look to Thee

Featured Hymn
Just As I Am, Without One Plea

Hymn #357
Words by Charlotte Elliott
Music by William B. Bradbury

Our Christian faith is a faith of hope, of joy, of love, of peace--of every good thing! God created us and everything around us. In the beginning He looked at what He had done and called it "very good." The Bible begins with the "perfect story." God is perfect, and He walked with His creation in perfect fellowship--until His creation walked away. And then we read on about the "imperfect story." It is a story of the creation that went astray. But there is a promise. It is a wonderful and marvelous promise. It is a promise to forgive and restore. You see, God still loves His creation. God still wants to have perfect fellowship with His creation. And God has made a way to restore perfect fellowship.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a season of preparation and introspection. We prepare for Holy Week and Easter. We prepare our churches, hanging purple and removing the special symbols of Christmas and Epiphany. We prepare our homes, getting ready for a change of seasons. Here in the United States we often prepare "Easter eggs." But most importantly we should prepare ourselves for Holy Week and Easter. It is in this part of preparation that we turn to introspection. It is here that we find the "imperfect story" in ourselves. It is here that we find the penitent and somber attitude that is evoked by the services of Ash Wednesday.

This week's featured hymn was written by Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871). Tracing through verse by verse, we cannot help stopping to examine ourselves. Often used as a hymn of invitation to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, these words are equally powerful now, at the beginning of Lent, when we must remember Christ's holy ministry, His holy sacrifice, and His holy salvation given to us. Read these words and ponder them. Pray these words and prepare for Lent.

1. Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
2. Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot,
to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
3. Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
4. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
sight, riches, healing of the mind,
yea, all I need in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
5. Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
6. Just as I am, thy love unknown
hath broken every barrier down;
now, to be thine, yea thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Come to Ash Wednesday service. Come and join with your family in Christ. Come just as you are. I will be there, too, just as I am, for it is to Christ that we are all called.

God bless you--
Lection at HymnSite.com

Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.