Given By Rev. Madison Shockley, with a song sung By Joey Peterson , January 28, 2018 at Pilgrim UCC in Carlsbad CA

Our inspiration today comes from Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. They offer a glimpse into the Christian church coming into being. Unfortunately, these letters can be confusing. Since we are not in first century Greece, we do not understand the culture, customs, or language. This is why we come to church. We can try to find a connection between their faith struggles and ours. While many things have changed, human nature has not. In the ancient world, feasting was an important part of any religion. Those in the higher social circles would eat first and the choicest foods. The poor would come later for the leftovers. Some felt the meat sacrificed to other gods was tainted. These idols were still real to them. Paul reprimands them. There is only the one God and he provides for all our needs. Today, we still have a divide between traditional Christianity and Progressive Christianity. One of the biggest “idols” today is patriarchal family values. We have lived with this idea for so long that people believe it to be real. Another is heteronormism. Anything that deviates from the “norm” of heterosexual is wrong. Progressives know this is not true. White supremacy and racism is another “idol” that has no basis in fact. This is why we are having such a difficult time over immigration. American exceptionalism is another idol. All these idols are empty. There is only one God and we live in the freedom of Christ. Baptism wipes away all this divisions. We must find a way to work with those that we disagree with. Paul reminds us of this good news. Knowledge is not enough, one must have love too.

Joey Pearson wrote a song to help us find our inspiration to take a stand.