February 21, 2021 The First Sunday in Lent The Art of Forgiveness-1 The Rev. Dr. Martha Campbell

Posted on February 21, 2021 @ 2:04 pm
Today is the First Sunday in Lent – the forty days and six Sundays that we use to prepare ourselves to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Day.  
Pastors Martha and Twine are beginning a new series this season: The Art of Forgiveness.  God’s forgiveness offers us a way to move forward in our world.  Our ability to live in God’s forgiveness and learning to forgive others will satisfy the longing we have for communal harmony and peace.  As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, There is “no future without forgiveness.” Here is the link for today’s service.

Pastor Martha welcomes us to worship and lights the first candle of Lent with an explanation and a prayer.  Imre Szilas then plays the Prelude: “Sonata in F” by CPE Bach and we join in singing the first stanza of the hymn: “Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days,” a traditional Lenten hymn.
Pastor Twine shares the announcements and prayer requests then prays for all of us as we continue to deal with separation and the problems in our world that we all face and closes with the Lord’s Prayer.
After a brief musical interlude, Pastors Martha and Twine join in saying the Lenten Litany.  Then Imre Szilas plays a reflective organ anthem by Dennis Elliot.
Pastor Martha leads the Prayer of Illumination and reads the scripture lesson from Luke 15:11-32, the parable of The Prodigal Son.  Pastor Martha then presents the first sermon asking some very hard questions:
Is forgiveness a Christian requirement or duty?
Are there circumstances or actions we don’t have to forgive?
Is forgiveness meaningful for the individual or is it only meaningful in the context of community?  Pastor Martha addresses all these questions and more as she introduces The Art of Forgiveness.
The service concludes with Pastor Martha giving the Charge and Benediction and Dr. Imre Szilas playing the postlude, the involved and powerful: “Organsolo” from the Glagolithic Mass by Leos Janaček.