Given by Rev. Madison Shockley October 31, 2021

Jesus tells us that we should love God with all our heart and love your neighbor as yourself. These are the greatest commandments. Jesus brought these two commandments together and made them one.  Simplified, we are commanded to love. In order to love God, you must love your neighbors. How can you claim to love God who you have not seen if you cannot love your brothers and sisters who you have seen? The hard part is the neighbor. Loving your neighbor gets harder every day. We create lives that place us in contact with people just like us. This makes it easy to love your neighbor. We need to find people different than us. We need to stretch out and find new neighbors. People with different views, beliefs, values who challenge us on our views, beliefs, values. It is supposed to be hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it. The Empire of God is near. You just need to keep working towards it, no matter how hard. There is always more to do.