Given By Rev. Madison Shockley November 19, 2017

Grace is never earned. God is generous in giving grace and mercy. During this time of thanksgiving, let us contemplate all the things we are blessed with, big and small, that you are born with.  Some examples would be being tall, being born male, or being born white. We did not do anything. Benefits just flow to you.  Even our heritage as members of Pilgrim has a benefit. The original Pilgrims viewed their passage to America as a reenactment of the Israelites’s flight from Egypt.  They formed congregations and now had a say in the workings of their church.  They entered into a new covenant with God in this new promised land. Today, we are blessed to live in the wealthiest nation the world as ever known. The reading explains that it is not their/our goodness that created this but the greatness of God alone who gives it to us as a blessing. Be warned. Do not forget God or exalt yourself: not as an individual, as a community, or as a nation. Our only requirement is to keep the Commandments. You must live them. Today, this has implications for our tax policy. It has implications for our immigration policy. We cannot let our political differences divide us. In this time of division, we must love those who have taken the other side. We must offer them grace. Love our enemies, love strangers, and love our family. Pray for those who we disagree with and embrace forgiveness. Live the covenant!