Truth, kindness, and grace

A postcard from the 11th Sunday after Pentecost 08/08/21

This morning the oak leaf hydrangeas were putting on quite a show when I arrived at the Church of the Messiah in Heflin. I am glad to be spending a couple of Sundays each month with the good folks here.

Right now what we need most is truth spoken with kindness and grace.

While the writer of Ephesians could not have imagined the world we live in with its instant communication, the words of our reading this Sunday are needed now more than ever. [Ephesians 4:25-5:2] We need to be reminded that as Christians we are called to speak truth in love with grace and kindness. We can be angry, but we cannot allow ourselves to linger too long in that anger.

Today, USA Today ran an article talking about the anger that vaccinated people are experiencing about unvaccinated people, and the anxiety felt over the need for more people to get the COVID vaccine. The article quotes Stephanie McClure, an assistant professor of biocultural medical anthropology at the University of Alabama, “‘You usually don’t get anywhere by attacking people.’ Shaming and insulting people is ‘not a very effective way to promote adoption of a behavior.’”

Right now Christians can play an important role in allowing our anger to be transformed into action. Through God’s grace, we can reach out to those around us with words that build up and encourage, we can share our stories, and encourage others to ask questions and learn more. We are called to “live in love, as Christ loved us.” 

A Virtual Celebration of the Life & Work of Jonathan Myrick Daniels
Saturday, August 14, at 11 am

Join with folks across the diocese and the wider church as we celebrate the life and witness of Jonathan Myrick Daniels. You can join the virtual celebration on Saturday, August 14, at 11 am, at

A sermon from the Church of the Messiah in Heflin:

Audio only available here

Coming next

We continue our exploration of the Letter to the Ephesians. What does it look like to live rooted in reconciliation with God and neighbor? How do we practice it in radical ways?

  • August 15 – Messiah, Heflin / “Overflow” Eph. 5:15-20
  • August 22 – St. Paul’s, Greensboro / “Teamwear” Eph. 6:10-20

Following our exploration of radical reconciliation in Ephesians, we move to the Book of James, which challenges the belief that faith is something that should be kept private and challenges a culture that sees very little value in religion at all.

  • August 29 – Holy Spirit, Alabaster / “Just Do It” James 1:17-27
  • September 5 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke / “Body and Soul” James 2:1-17

Published by akhudlow

I am a priest in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama. I am a church nerd, printmaker, storyteller, and blogger.

2 thoughts on “Truth, kindness, and grace

  1. This message was especially powerful and “on point “for me
    Condemning, speaking in condescending tones, raising voices to those who do not wear masks nor get vaccinated is exactly what Wormwood would be encouraging us to do.
    Speaking truth in love and grace. Amen.
    Thank you!


    1. This was certainly a Sunday that I was doing a bit of preaching to myself. Reminding myself that God calls us to truth, love, and kindness, and NOT to rightness!


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