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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:…

Last Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 29B RCL

Christ the King Sunday

2 Samuel 23:1-7

Psalm 132:1-13

Revelation 1:4b-8

John 18:33-37

Today is Christ the King Sunday. It is the last Sunday of the season of Pentecost. Next Sunday, we will begin the season of Advent.

Our first reading this morning focuses our attention on the reign of King David. David had some major personal flaws and made some bad decisions, as we do, but he is the ideal of the earthly king. One strength that David had was that, when confronted with his errors, he owned up to them and asked God’s forgiveness. Our reading says, “One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.”

Our king, Jesus, comes from the family of David. This opening lesson places before us Jesus’ ancestral roots and the vision of an earthly king who rules with wisdom and justice.

Our second reading, from the Book of Revelation, gives us John’s vision of heaven. Angels and archangels worship Jesus and God. When John says that Jesus will be coming with the clouds, that is a way of saying that we will all be accountable for how we have lived our lives and how we have used the gifts God has given us.

Here are Herbert O’Driscoll’s words on today’s gospel: “We are seeing the meeting of two empires. Pilate the Procurator embodies the power of Rome. Jesus the prisoner embodies spiritual power….  ‘Are you the King of the Jews’, asks Pilate. The reply he receives must have been startling. ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ It shows no sign of fear or subservience. The question is from equal to equal.”

O’Driscoll goes on to say, “Jesus is saying that he is not interested in being a worldly king but is very much interested in bringing spiritual truth to the world.”

Christ is our King. Hi kingdom is not a material or an earthly kingdom. It is not based on earthly power, yet it has far more power than the Roman Empire or any other empire could ever have.

What does it mean to say that Jesus is our King? Each of us would probably have a different answer to that question.  In some way, beyond out ability to analyze or explain, Jesus has touched our lives. He is someone we want to follow. We have read about his life and ministry in the gospels. We have seen the way he treats each person with infinite love and respect.  We have seen the way in which he has brought healing and wholeness to people, the way he has taught and lived. All of this has made us want to be more and more like him.

This means that we also feel deeply called to help Jesus to build his kingdom, his shalom. Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls this God’s dream for the world. His description of God’s shalom was read to us by Beth a few weeks ago. I would like to bring it again to our minds and hearts.

“I have a dream, God says. “Please help Me to realize it, It is a dream of a world whose ugliness and squalor and poverty, its war and hostility, its greed and harsh competitiveness, its alienation and disharmony are changed into their glorious counterparts, when there will be more laughter, joy, and peace, where there will be justice and goodness and compassion and love and caring and sharing.  I have a dream that swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, that My children will know that they are members of one family, the human family, God’s family, My family.

In God’s family, there are no outsiders. All are insiders. Black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, Jew and Arab, Palestinian and Israeli, Roman Catholic and Protestant, Serb and Albanian, Hutu and Tutsi, Muslim and Christian, Buddhist and Hindu, Pakistani and Indian—all belong.

This is the vision of God’s shalom for which we are all working. We are also coming to the end of the Thanksgiving holiday. It is wonderful to see family gathered at this special time.  And I want to thank Frank and Priscilla for putting on a wonderful Thanksgiving feast this past Sunday with special gifts of delicious partridge soup and moose meatballs, thanks to Frank’s skill as a hunter, Gods gracious bounty, and Priscilla’s gifts as a cook. I should probably say chef. Thank you so much. Priscilla has suggested we should do this more often. I think that is a great idea.

Today we focus on Christ as our King and thanksgiving for God’s gifts, including God’s vision of shalom. These are the reasons why we will be doing our United Thank Offering ingathering this Sunday and next, why we will be giving to Episcopal Relief and Development during the Christmas season, and why we will be giving prayerful thought to our response to God’s gifts my making our pledges the next several Sundays.

Lord Jesus, may we make you the king of our lives and our hearts. May we be thankful for your many gifts to us. May we follow you always.

Amen.

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