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    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 2, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…
    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 9, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…
    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 16, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…

Easter Sunday April 8, 2012

Acts 10: 34-43
Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24
1 Corinthians 15: 1-11
John 20: 1-18

We have walked the Way of the Cross with him. We have welcomed him as our King. We have shared the meal with him, the meal which he transformed from a Passover or fellowship meal into a way to call him into our midst, a way to allow him to feed and strengthen us. He washed our feet. Peter was so shocked he did not want the Lord to do a servant’s work, but, when Jesus said that we had to let him serve and help us and we had to be servants of each other, we all understood. Still, it was shocking, to have the Son of God washing our feet.

And then we went to the garden, and he prayed and struggled, and Judas pointed him out to the soldiers, and the road to the horror began. Peter denied him. He felt terrible about that until they were reconciled later. When Jesus asked him to feed his sheep. But that’s another story.

 There was the trial. You could tell that Pilate thought Jesus was innocent. The religious leaders said that they had no king but the emperor. That was the worst denial. And then there was the crucifixion. Hanging there in agony, he spoke to his mother and to John. He told John that Mary was now his mother, and he told Mary that John was now her son. Later, we realized that he was creating a whole new, big family of God’s beloved children.

According to religious law, the bodies had to be taken down before sundown. A stunning thing happened. Two courageous men, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, both of whom were members of the Sanhedrin, the religious ruling council, had been secret followers of Jesus—secret because they were afraid they would lose their positions and their lives.  Joseph asked for permission to take Jesus’ body. He and Nicodemus reverently wrapped Jesus’ beloved body in spices, and placed the body in a tomb. They rolled a huge boulder over the opening to the tomb.

So it was all over. All our hopes, all our dreams of a new and different world, his kingdom. We went to the room where we had been gathering and wept and prayed. 

The next day, before dawn, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. When she arrived, she saw that the stone had been removed. She ran and found Peter and John. They raced to the tomb. They saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head in a separate place, neatly rolled up. They did not say anything to anyone else, but quietly went to their homes.

Mary Magdalene stayed at the tomb, weeping. She thought someone had taken the body of Jesus away. When she saw Jesus, she thought he was the gardener. He asked her why she was weeping, and she still did not realize who he was.  This happened to other people, too. We didn’t always realize who he was. He looked different. But when he called our name, or said to touch his hand or his side, or cooked us a fish breakfast on the shore, or broke bread with us, suddenly, we knew who he was.  She didn’t recognize him until he called her name, and then she was able to see and answer, Rabbi, Teacher. He told her to go and tell his followers that she had seen him. And so she went and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” And we have seen the risen Lord, too.

This year we have been thinking carefully and deeply about the nature of God. We have been looking at the reality that we don’t worship a God who controls and manages and fixes things for us. We worship a God who suffers. We worship a God who has actually given up power in order to let us have the gift of free will. We worship a God who loves us and calls us to love God back.

If we have ever suffered, if we have lost a child, been diagnosed with something serious, lost a job, felt betrayed by a friend, or sunk into the bottomless pit of addiction, we have walked many of the steps which those first followers walked with Jesus, and we walk those steps every year during Lent and Holy Week.

Jesus has gone through everything we have gone through and will go through. He has been there. That’s what the cross means. And, when we suffer, he is right there with us. He cannot fix it all because he does not have control over everything, but he is with us. And, if he can go though every kind of death, and he has risen and is with us at every moment, we can meet every challenge with grace and courage.

He is alive, and we are alive in him. We are his body. As Paul says, “It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” We have just walked with him though his life, starting with his baptism and his wilderness struggle, which defined who he is and how he was going to carry out his ministry. We have been with him as he taught and loved, and healed,  and we have been with him as he died and rose again. This is the blueprint for our ministry– the love, healing, and compassion of Christ.

May we be his hands reaching out to heal, his eyes seeing with compassion, his voice speaking hope and love. May we be the risen Christ.           Amen

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