Monday, June 4, 2012

Is There Anything God Can't Forgive?

Is There Anything God Can’t Forgive? is our worship theme for the second Sunday after Pentecost, June 10, 2012. Our focus scriptures are Psalm 130 and Mark 3:20-35.

Psalm 130 promises that God forgives sins and emphasizes Israel’s trust and reliance on God to do just that. But Mark records a fascinating interchange between Jesus and the scribes. After Jesus has cast out demons and done other works of wonder, great crowds begin to follow him. Feeling that he is taking over their religious territory, scribes come from Jerusalem to criticize Jesus and claim that he casts out demons only because he, himself, is possessed. In response, Jesus says that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. If Satan therefore has risen up against himself, then he also will not be able to stand, and the end of his kingdom has come. Then Jesus goes on to say that people will be forgiven for all kinds of sins and blasphemies, but that there is one thing God will not forgive: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. When the scribes accuse Jesus of working, not through the power of the Holy Spirit, but through the power of a demonic spirit, they commit this blasphemy. And so we wonder, are they eternally doomed? Is there really something that God cannot forgive?

Here is a Call to Worship based on Psalm 130. Please feel free to use or adapt anything helpful to you.

Call to Worship   (from Psalm 130)

L: Out of the depths we cry to you, God!
               Please, hear our call for help!
          P: We know, Dear God, that if you kept records on wrongdoings,
               we wouldn’t stand a chance.
          L: But bless you, you forgive our sins.
          P: So, souls in the balance, we wait for you, God.
              We trust in your promises.
          L: We watch through the night, praying for the dawn.
          P: We hope in you, God. We depend on your strength and love.
        All: We trust that you will redeem us!

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