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Using Psalm 51, the emphasis on this lesson is not on shame or guilt, but on the gift that God offers in the moment of confession.
Ash Wednesday

The Importance of Confession

Publication Date:
2/18/2009
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Youth Study
Product Number:
TC5049

Ash Wednesday is the first day in the forty day season of Lent. Some traditions observe Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras) the day before Ash Wednesday. As the journey to the cross unfolds over the next forty days, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of a season of penitence and confession. The tradition of marking the worshiper with ashes has long been a part of many denominations observance of Ash Wednesday.

Too often the season of Lent is marked more by whether or not to eat sweets or drink sodas. While disciplines such as these might be a step toward God, they often become ends in themselves marked more by "shoulds" than by a spirit of worship. Ash Wednesday redirects our sights not to ourselves and what we can or cannot do, but instead to God--the one who created us--who calls us to confess and offers a clean heart to those who call on him.

In this one-session youth study, participants are encouraged to reflect on the meaning of confession in our lives. Exercises of writing a confession, burning them together, and a short ceremony of ashes are included in this hour-long study.

Lisa Nichols Hickman serves as Associate Pastor at New Wilmington Presbyterian Church in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. She was formerly a pastor at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey and has served congregations in Arizona and North Carolina.


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