02/26/23 Weekly Worship

WELCOME to Westminster Church Online!

We are glad that you are here this morning. We hope this time of worship nurtures
your faith enlivens your spirit and engages your mind as we celebrate God’s
love and healing for the world with the resurrection of Christ, our Risen Lord.

Before you begin, remember to download and print the 02.26.23 – Bulletin
Then grab your Bible, a cup of tea, or coffee, and prepare your heart for worship.

If this is your first Sunday with us, welcome! We’re glad you choose to worship with us.
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READ THE SERMON

February 26, 2023 | First Sunday in Lent

Pastor Denise Clark-Jones

“SACRIFICING POWER FOR LENT”

Today is the first Sunday in the season of Lent, when we are invited to examine the roots of our Christian discipleship and identify with Jesus’ journey to the cross. The early Sundays are a wilderness time—an opportunity to go deep into our hearts and the souls of our communities, to recognize the depth of our estrangement from God, and to begin to purposefully put things right. We observe the tradition of eliminating alleluias during Lent: these will joyfully return on Easter Day. In today’s Gospel reading, the Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness where he fasts for forty days and nights. It is these forty days that serve as the model for Lent’s duration. After the fast, the devil tempts Jesus three times. Jesus responds, rebuking Satan, using scripture verses.

Our Old Testament reading takes us back to the biblical origin of sin – the Fall of Adam and Eve. Given only one restriction in the Garden of Eden, eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Even succumbed to the wily serpent’s temptation and ate fruit from that forbidden tree. Like Satan in the wilderness with Jesus, the serpent tempted the pair to exceed their human limitations in order to become like God. Their punishment is expulsion from the Garden. The psalmist gives thanks to God because he has learned in life that true happiness is found in having one’s sin forgiven and taken away. In the epistle reading from Romans, Paul contrasts Adam and Christ. Adam’s disobedience led to the sin of many, but Christ will lead many to righteousness.

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