Given by Rev. Madison Shockley November 10, 2019 at Pilgrim UCC in Carlsbad CA

The church the world needs is Pilgrim. Our reading is a letter that was written during a dangerous time. The Romans were fed-up with the rebellious Jews.  Romans sacked the city of Jerusalem, expelled the Jews, and destroyed the temple.  The author of the letter invoked the power of Paul. Convinced that it was the end times, it was now up to the small number of Christians to save the world. He wanted to inspire the Thessalonians to hang in there. Some may feel we are in the end times today. The author seems to be describing people/events of today. God calls us to stand up for Jesus. Somebody must stand up for the truth. Somebody must stand up for righteousness. Pilgrim is vibrant worshiping community. We make a difference. This is an oasis. We look at the truth of the world square in the eye and act.  Like St. Francis, the darkness of the world cannot dim the light of a single candle. As Stewardship Sunday approaches, think about what Pilgrim means to you and the world. Be the church that the world needs today.