Today is the first Sunday in Lent; the season of confession and reflection that walks the path of the cross. The liturgical color for Lent is purple. For Lent this year, we have chosen to explore a few of the confessions in our Book of Confessions. While we may be unfamiliar with many of these confessions, they express many of the challenges facing Christians throughout the ages. In the Presbyterian Church we call ourselves a confessional church meaning we seek to express our faith in God in particular times and in particular places. What we believe matters in times of confusion and uncertainty. While we do not often think of the Confession in this way, they do have something to say to the world and our own lives.
Our worship today focuses on the Theological Declaration of Barmen. (See insert) Using the Biblical story of Jesus temptations in the desert (the traditional story for the First Sunday in Lent), we explore the temptation to power for the church and for individuals. Our Prayer of Confession is taken from the Book of Common Worship liturgy for Ash Wednesday. We will be using a different portion of this confession throughout the season reminding ourselves of the opening action of our Lenten season. Rather than an Acclamation Hymn following and celebrating the Assurance of Pardon, we will be singing a Song of Confession reflective of the meaning of the season. A portion of the Barmen Declaration will be read in unison as our Profession of Faith.