Given by Rev. Madison Shockley August 8, 2021 at Pilgrim UCC in Carlsbad CA

We began today’s service by looking into what kind of political bubble we might live in around this area. What kind of neighbors do you have? This letter to the Ephesians reminds us that it is ok to get angry but do not let evil talk come out of our mouths. Speak the truth but say your views in a way that builds up communication. May our words give grace to those who hear them. Forgive those as God would forgive us. Be kind to one another. This letter is written to address everyone in the church. It talked about how to live a Christian life in a Greek world but it can apply to us today too. How do we live in a world that may not share our Christian values. Jesus loved the homeless and the poor. He loved diversity. Jesus hated nationalism and luxurious wealth. Our world values the opposite. Jesus’s church welcomed all. Everyone was equal in God’s eyes. Paul wanted to set up communities(churches) that would transform the world. Early congregations were divided. Jews and non-Jews did not want any part of each other. They needed to learn a new way of life. Faith alone was not enough. Our works show our faith. Words and deeds matter. This letter helps us understand our neighbors and live together. Today, we are divided on the issue of vaccines. Hopefully, this will build relationships even when we disagree.