Mrs. June Aldcroft, the current Mayoress of Market Drayton, led our worship last Sunday morning and she was warmly welcomed by Rosalind. Our organist was Neil Barnett with his wife Jill on the keyboard. “Lord, we have come to worship you” was June’s call to worship and we began by singing Henry Francis Lyte’s great hymn based on Psalm 103 “Praise my soul, the King of heaven. Our prayers of praise, adoration and thanksgiving seamlessly followed at the close of that him.”
Our morning’s bible reading was taken from Matthew, chapter 18. This was the parable of the Unforgiving Servant which told of the forgiveness of a king to his servant who owed him a great debt yet the servant in turn was not prepared to forgive a fellow servant of a debt he owed him. “Forgiveness” was the theme of June’s service and in her sermon, she spoke of some of the great figures in recent history who had shown such grace in forgiving others who had caused them great harm and sadness, including Gordon Wilson at the bombing in Enniskillen in 1987 and the more recent Manchester Arena bombing. “Hate breeds hate and anger breeds anger” said June but “forgiveness breeds healing”. This parable of Jesus illustrates the gift of forgiveness as Jesus said we should forgive others seventy times seven, as the servant was forgiven his debt by a king. The meaning of repentance is to turn around and June reminded us that ‘to err is human but to forgive is divine’. Jesus forgives us as if our sins have never been. We recited Psalm 32 together which speaks of confession and forgiveness.
Our prayers for others were followed by our final hymn “Fill thou my life O Thou my God” before June gave us the Blessing.