Well, we finished our study of the letter to the Ephesians yesterday. I emphasized the language of darkness and light in chapter 5. Darkness and light are often used symbolically to contrast good and evil.
We are called to be children of the light in 5:8. As long as we live as children of the light, that is as children of God, evil will have a tough time taking root. But, if we don’t?
Go into a dark room and flip the light switch. Immediately the light takes over, right? But where does the darkness go? It cannot exist in the presence of the light so it goes to the outer edge of the light. And waits for the light to go out.
Goodness is stronger than evil.
But that makes evil even more aggressive in our midst. Ephesians goes on to say we. Just live as people who are wise, and not as people who are foolish. But how are we to know the difference? Our situation today is different from the time Ephesians was written, yet the issue was the same. How do we know what is true and what is not.
The characteristic of our modern day question is driven by the fact that we have more information available at our fingertips than any time in human history.
We have information, but little credibility. To quote the New York Times,
“The volume of data is exploding, and yet credible information is harder to find,” Zegart wrote. “Why? Because the barriers to entry are so low.” You don’t need a printing press, a book contract or the approval of some gatekeeper to have your say and share your thoughts. You just need an internet connection. And while there’s obvious benefit to that — judgment and permission aren’t the exclusive province of a discriminatory elite — there’s obvious danger, too. Good filters disappear with the bad ones. Cyberspace is at once a smorgasbord and a junkyard.
A Facebook post on climate change by a Nobel winning scientist looks exactly like a post of someone paid by the Koch brothers to refute climate change.
This is what we face every day, and THIS is what Ephesians is talking about. So, what is truth? There are lots of versions of truth. And then there is God’s truth. And how do we get to that truth? Through study of scriptures, worship, living within a faith community, focusing on the things Jesus taught us.
And we put on the armor of God.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The Calendar this Week:
UMW meets Tuesday morning at 11:30 at Sobe’s
Holy Land Pilgrimage
Visiting the Holy Land is a once in a lifetime experience. Pastor Ron is putting together a trip to the Holy Land. 10 days. Visiting sites that include The Sea of Galilee and Jordan River, Capernaum, Cana, Nazareth, tel Megiddo, Jericho, Qumran, Caesarea, Masada, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Mount of Olives.
Prices run from 3400-3700 depending of time of year, and include airfare, ground transportation, tour guides, breakfast and dinner, taxes and fees.
If interested please contact me at (760) 554-5520. Leave a message!
For Healing: Pat Sandbom. For Caroline Stinson.
For all who are grieving the loss of loved ones, Especially the family of Teresa Hale.
For Ashley, a 12 year old with terminal cancer. And for her family.
Celebrating a successful Ride the Yuha bike ride, raising funds for the Cancer Resource Center of the Desert. The ride was organized by our own Brian McNeece..
Celebrating 50 years of presence by the San Diego-Imperial County Regional Center for People with Disabilities.
For those in need: The poor and the hungry. Victims of violence. Migrants seeking asylum.
For First Responders, for Teachers, for Public Servants.
See you Sunday!
Grace and Peace, Ron
Rev. Dr. Ron Griffen
First United Methodist Church, El Centro
312 S. 8th St.
Facebook: First United Methodist church El Centro
"Ring the bell that still can ring. Forget the perfect offering. There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." --Leonard Cohen
"You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth." --Jesus of Nazareth