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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:…

Christ the King Sunday—November 24, 2013

Jeremiah 23:1-6
Canticle 16, p. 92
Colossians 1:11-20
Luke 23:33-43

Today is Christ the King Sunday, the day when the season after Pentecost comes to an end. This is also the end of the Christian year. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, the Church’s New Year.

Today is also the Sunday before Thanksgiving, a time when families and friends gather to give thanks for all the many blessings God showers upon us.

In our first reading, the prophet Jeremiah is already pointing us toward Advent. Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is the branch from the house of David. His leadership is the model for all leadership in the Church.

In our reading from the Letter to the Colossians, Paul tells us how Jesus has rescued us from darkness and brokenness and called us to live in his light and healing. He is the head of the Church. We are members of his living, vibrant Body, reaching out to extend his love to others. In Jesus we see God walking the face of the earth. We see the fullness, the wholeness of God.

In our gospel for today, we see very clearly that our King is different from earthly kings. Jesus was crucified because his teachings threatened all those who depended on earthly power. They had to get rid of him. Certainly we humans can use power to try to control others and lord it over them, but that power is destructive. The love and healing of Jesus is stronger than all the earthly power of the Roman Empire. Love is stronger than earthly power, stronger than hate, stronger than efforts to control people, stronger than fear. Earthly powers may have crucified Jesus, but he is alive, and we are alive in him.

And we gather to give thanks. Eucharist is the Greek word for Thanksgiving. Every time we share in the Eucharist, we are having a Thanksgiving dinner, and Jesus is our host. He is feeding us with his own loving, healing, courageous energy so that we can serve others in his name.

God has given us so much. God has given us everything that we have.  We live in a beautiful place. We have loving friends and families.  God has given us gifts, so many gifts—of music, listening to others, sewing, cooking, carpentry, athletic ability, helping to make spaces accessible to all, community organizing, praying, working with young people, rescuing dogs and horses,  teaching, coaching,  paying the bills, keeping the books, assisting elderly folks, building beautiful crèches, serving as  EMTs, nursing, caring—the list goes on and on.  This community of faith has so many gifts.

God has given us everything we need to do our ministry.

We have an abundance. Even if we are going through tough times, we have an abundance. We have what we need. And we have the gifts and the abilities to do what God is calling us to do.

Perhaps the greatest gift that God gives us is God’s amazing and unfailing love.  We are well aware that we have made mistakes in our lives. Sometimes we have felt ashamed of our behavior. God has given us the gift of free will and sometimes we have made  choices that aren’t the most creative. Sometimes we think that we’re not worth much. But that’s not what God thinks.

The greatest gift is that God loves you. God loves me. God loves you just the way you are. God knows you. God knows everything that you have done. After all, God created you. And God loves you. Nothing that you can ever do will ever make God stop loving you.

And God is with you and me right now, God is with us every step of the way on our journey in life. God will guide us. It’s a partnership, We ask God for guidance, and, with God’s grace, we can do what God calls us to do.

What is our response to God’s love and generosity and care? What is our response in the face of all this abundance of grace and gifts? Our response is to be thankful to God. We show our thanks by trying to live as God calls us to live.

Out of gratitude to God, we also return to God a worthy portion of the time, talent, and treasure that God has given us. We offer back to God some of the time and talents God gives us to help and serve others. I know that all of you do this all the time. You help neighbors. You volunteer. You work in your communities. There are many ways to do this.

We also give back to God a portion of the treasure that God has given us.  This can be done by contributing to charities and organizations that we care about, such as the Red Cross or the Nature Conservancy

And I also encourage everyone to consider making a pledge to Grace Church. This is something to pray about in the next couple of weeks, Beth will have pledge cards for us to fill out. It does not have to be a great deal of money. The amount is between you and God. The important thing is that we are returning to God a portion of what God has given us because we are thankful to God. Then we put the pledge card in the collection plate and offer that pledge to God. We are saying “Thank you” to God. Thank you, God, for your love, your grace. Thank you for leading us out of the darkness into the light. Thank you for leading us beside the still water. Thank you for restoring our souls. Thank you for giving meaning to our lives.

So we think of our pledge of time, talent, and treasure. Just being here to join in worship every Sunday is a way of thanking and praising God. It feels so wonderful when everyone is here. We need everyone. So, if money is tight, remember, your gifts of time and talent are very important. One of the most beautiful things about Grace Church is that folks are so deeply committed to being here every Sunday.

God loves each of us more than any of us can comprehend. You are the apples of God’s eye. Always remember that, You are God’s beloved child. Christ is alive and he welcomes you to his Thanksgiving feast.

Amen.

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