Preached at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Rocklin, CA on Ash Wednesday,February 13, 2013 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn

Sermon Text:Matthew 6:1-6 – 16-21
Sermon Theme: “Repent and Turn”

Joel 2:12–19
2 Corinthians 5:20b—6:10
Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21

Return to the Lord Your God with All Your Heart

On Ash Wednesday, we come down from the mountain with Jesus and set our face with His toward the cross in Jerusalem. We make our pilgrimage with Him by the way of repentance, and thus return to the dying and rising of Holy Baptism. For Christ Jesus, “who knew no sin,” became our sin, so that by His death we are released from sin, and in His resurrection we “become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Since God has thereby reconciled the world to Himself in Christ, “now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). He summons you to return to Him with all your heart because He is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (Joel 2:13). Do so in faith and confidence before Him, and pray to Him as your Father. Give to the needy from a heart of love, and fast for the sake of repentance (Matt. 6:3–4, 6, 17–18).