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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:…

Christmas 1 2013

Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Psalm 147 or 147:13-31
Galatians 3: 23-25, 4:4-7
John 1:1-18

“Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word….” That is how our collect for this First Sunday After Christmas begins.

St. Paul tells us that, because Jesus has come among us, we are now on intimate terms with our God, We can call God Abba, meaning “Daddy” or “Mom.” God is no longer far away from us. God is no longer light years away. God is with us. Emmanuel, God with us.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  God has come among us. God has gone through the process of gestation, the adventure of being born into this world which God has made. God has undergone every human experience.

God was not born into a palace or a castle. God was not born into a place of power. As Pope Francis has said, God came into the world as a homeless person. There was no room for them at the inn. God was not born in Jerusalem, the seat of religious and secular power in the Holy Land. God was not born in Rome, the seat of the major empire of the time. God was born in a stable, to a young woman named Mary and a carpenter named Joseph, not to an earthly king and queen or emperor and empress.

John says, “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.” At the darkest time of the year, the time when we are yearning for the days to become longer, the light comes into the world.  That light, that love, will never be overcome by darkness.

John says that the Word made the world. He was and is the eternal Word who called the creation into being, yet when he came to his own people, they did not know him and they did not accept him. But some did, and those people he made children of God. Actually, he has made all of us children of God. He has brought all of us into close relationship with God. We can be grateful because we realize that he has done this. And we can share his love with others.

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us….” Incarnation means “enfleshment.” God becomes human, “Full of grace and truth.” God becomes one of us so that we can look at the life of God in Jesus and see how to live our lives as our Lord would want us to. And there, we see “grace upon grace.”

We can imagine Jesus in Joseph’s shop, playing with the curls of wood from the carpenter’s plane, later learning Joseph’s trade. The hymn “Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,” has one verse that says, “Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith, whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe, be there at our labors and give us, we pray, your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.”

God came to be with us in all our humanness. God knows what it is like to face every challenge, every joy. God walks with us through every moment.

Love has come to be with us, to fill us with grace upon grace.

Thanks be to God for this unspeakable gift.

Amen.

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