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    • Sunday service - Holy Communion December 11, 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 December 18, 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 December 25, 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:…

Good Friday 2 March 29, 2013

In his Cross, Jesus showed us another way. He could have destroyed the jeering crowd. He could have marshalled armies, launched missiles, detonated a hydrogen bomb. He could have fought hatred with hatred, violence with violence. He did not. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, confronted the destructive religious and secular powers of his day with one thing and one thing only—love.

Barbara Brown Taylor writes, “Christianity is the only world religion that confesses a God who suffers. It is not that popular an idea, even among Christians. We prefer a God who prevents suffering, only that is not the God we have got. What the cross teaches us is that God’s power is not the power to force human choices and end human pain. It is, instead, the power to pick up the shattered pieces and make something holy out of them—not from a distance but from right close up.”

Taylor continues, “By entering into the experience of the cross, God took the manmade wreckage of the world inside himself and labored with it—a long labor—almost three days—and he did not let go of it until he could transform it and return it to us as life, That is the power of a suffering God, not to prevent pain but to redeem it, by going through it with us.” (God in Pain, p. 118)

Writing of Jesus’ word on the cross, “It is finished,” Taylor states, “There was one more thing that was finished that day, and that was the separation between Jesus and God. The distance was mostly physical, according to John, and it was only temporary, but when Jesus gave up his spirit his thirst was slaked. He dove back into the stream of living water from which he had sprung and swam all the way home.

Taylor continues, “Those who he left behind saw nothing but his corpse. He was not a teacher any more. He was a teaching—a window into the depths of God that some could see through and some could not. Those who held out for a strong God, a fierce God—they looked upon a scene where God was not, while those whose feet Jesus had washed, whose faces he had touched, whose open mouths he had fed as if they were little birds—they looked upon a scene in which God had died for love of them.”

The Cross tells us that God loves us so much that God suffers for us and with us. Our God knows what it is to feel alone and abandoned, to go through the worst thing that anyone can go through. When we are going through these things, God is with us, and God is enduring these trials with us.

God moves through our darkest times with us, our times of greatest weakness and brokenness, and transforms those experiences into life on a new level. What may appear to be weakness is the power of God at work, the self-giving surrender that ignites grace and opens the door to new life right here and now.

May we walk the way of the Cross, the way of Christ, the way of love that leads to life.

Amen.