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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:…

The Day of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b
Romans 8: 14-17
John 14: 8-17 (25-27)

Jesus has told the disciples that he will send an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to lead them jnto all truth. They are in Jerusalem. It is the Jewish feast of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover. People are gathered from all around the Mediterranean Sea, from all the known world.

The disciples are waiting, praying, open, expectant. The Spirit comes to them as a mighty wind, like the desert ruach, which molds and shapes the sand. Flames dance over the disciples’ heads That is why we wear red today. Suddenly these Galileans burst out with all the languages of the world, speaking heart to heart, dissolving all differences, sharing the Good News about Jesus in languages each member of the multitude gathered for the feast can understand.

Some people are deeply touched. Others are dubious. They think the disciples are drunk. Peter preaches an amazing sermon, telling them that God is pouring out God’s spirit on all flesh, as the prophet Joel foretold.

This year, we have been focusing on God’s family, the whole human family—how God breaks through humanly constructed barriers and makes us one. The Feast of Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, and we are all called to extend God’s love to all the world.

In his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul writes, “All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” So many religious systems have presented God as someone very scary, someone who is keeping track of all our sins and errors, who is, as David Brown says, “out to gunch us.”

This is not the God we worship. We are beloved children of God. We can call God “Abba,” Daddy, or Mommy, Papa or Mom. Remember how our gospel for last week told us how God loves us as much as  God loves God’s son, Jesus? God is a God of love, not a God of fear or hatred. Let us hope and pray that religious leaders will stop preaching fear of a God who is out to punish us. God’s family includes everyone. That’s what the Feast of Pentecost is all about.

In our gospel, we are privileged to be with the disciples and Jesus in the Upper Room. Jesus has washed their feet. Judas has left to carry out the betrayal. Time is growing short.

Perhaps Philip senses this. Sometimes when we are looking into the face of God, we sense that we are confronting a great mystery, something that we can never hope to fully understand, because it is so big and so deep and so complex, and our minds are not large enough to grasp some things. Which one of us can grasp the depth and breadth of God’s love? This may be what Philip is feeling. He’s trying to get Jesus to boil everything down to something simple and clear. So he says,  “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus says, “If you have seen me, you have seen God. God is with you now. Look at my life, all the things I have done while we have been together.” And I imagine they reflect on this, his teaching, and healing, and preaching—the love, the patience, the gentleness, the courage, everything.  I think they and we can see that Jesus is God walking the face of the earth, living a human life. And now Jesus is saying that he wants us to do the same things that he has done. He is saying to us and them, “Live as I live, do as I do.” And he says that the disciples and we will do even greater things than he has done because he is going to send the Spirit to help us.  And then Jesus gives us his peace, not the fleeting peace that the world can sometimes give, but his shalom, his vision of the wholeness and the healing of creation, the shalom that he is calling us to build. Where everyone has enough food and water, has decent shelter, clothing, medical care and good work to do, the shalom in which we honor and heal the creation that God has entrusted to our care.

God’s Holy Spirit is God at work in us and in the world. The Holy Spirit gives us the gifts and tools we need to share God’s love with the world, to speak God’s love heart to heart, and remember, the heart in Judeo-Christian thought is not only the emotions, but the will, the mind, the ethical center in each of us.

As wonderful as it was to have Jesus here on earth as a human being, he had to leave and send us the Spirit. When he was on earth, he traveled around a very small area. True, he touched hearts and lives everywhere he went. But the Feast Of Pentecost tells us that now he is everywhere. Wherever two or three gather in his name, he is there. Sometimes sharing God’s love doesn’t mean speaking in verbal languages, as happened on the first Pentecost. Sometimes sharing God’s love means listening. Sometimes it means tending to someone’s wounds, either physical or emotional or spiritual. Sometimes it’s planting a garden or building a school or helping a group of women turn their weaving into a business. Whatever it may be that we are called to do, today is the day we celebrate God’s giving us all the gifts we need to do it.

Pentecost didn’t happen just once, It’s happening all the time, as we realize that we have gifts we didn’t even know we had, and as we use those gifts.

On this wonderful feast day, may we thank God for all the love and all the gifts which God is constantly pouring out. Thank you, Lord, for making us your Body here on earth and for giving us the gifts to share your love, healing, and forgiveness.

Amen.

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