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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:…
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The Second Sunday after the Epiphany Year C RCL January 20, 2013

Annual Meeting

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

I will keep this short to leave time for our Annual Meeting. In or opening reading, the prophet known as the Third Isaiah proclaims the good news that God’s people will be returning from the Exile in Babylon and will rebuild Jerusalem. God expresses a powerful love for God’s people, Herbert O’Driscoll notes this and reminds us that Church tradition speaks of the Church as the bride of Christ, the beloved. O’Driscoll goes on to ask us to think about how much the Church is criticized these days, He encourages us to think of the ways in which we love the Church. This struck me because I hear from all of you often about how you love the Church and how much you love Grace Church. Certainly we are not closing our minds to the problems facing the Church. But that does not negate our love for the Church.

In our epistle for today, Paul is addressing a difficult congregation—the Church in Corinth. Herbert O’Driscoll’s thoughts on these lessons impressed me deeply. He writes of the Church in Corinth, “The Corinthian community was, for the most part, affluent, sophisticated, and cosmopolitan. Many of its people would be exceedingly sure of themselves socially and intellectually. Think of the jolt some of them would receive upon hearing that their abilities and gifts are spiritual gifts, given from outside themselves and not in the least due to their own brilliance.” Scholars tell us that the community was full of divisions and controversies, possibly because so many of the members had such a high opinion of themselves. One problem was that they did not realize that there are many spiritual gifts and all these gifts are precious and equal

The leading group thought that the gift of speaking in tongues was the highest and best gift, and that, if someone didn’t have this gift, they were probably not a true Christian. Paul makes a powerful statement  that every member of the Body of Christ and every gift is precious and equal. Everyone is needed. One of the many things I love about grace is that you know this. You know that each of you is a member of Christ’s body and that each of you has certain gifts. No one is better than anyone else. We are all needed. And you step up and offer your gifts.

Our reading from John’s gospel shows us Jesus’ first miracle. He and his mother are at a wedding. The host has run out of wine. This is not only an embarrassment, it is a lack of hospitality, and the ministry of hospitality was very important in the culture of that day.

When Mary, his mother, first encourages Jesus to do something about this, he thinks it is not the time to act. Sometimes we need someone who knows us well to guide us into our ministries.  O’Driscoll says,  “There would not have been any wine had she not applied her gentle pressure.” He adds another truth which is important in the Body of Christ. “All of us can be grateful to others—perhaps not even remembered—who at various moments in our lives drew us further than we were prepared to go, and thereby helped us discover gifts and powers that otherwise we would not have known. Mary knew her son. Perhaps she intuitively knew the wondrous reality that was in him, even as someone who loved us knew the lesser but nevertheless precious reality hidden in us.”

These lessons call us to love God and the Church, to be humble and faithful members of the Body of Christ, and to encourage each other to  use our gifts. This is a wonderful description of what you do every day.

God bless you. Keep up the good work. I am deeply grateful to serve and work with you.

Amen

 

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