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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:…

Advent 3B RCL 12/14/14

Isaiah 61:1-4. 8-11
Canticle 3
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28

Our opening reading this morning is from the prophet Isaiah. He is proclaiming a message of hope to the people exiled in Babylon. They are going to go home. They will rebuild the temple. This reading also describes Gods kingdom. The oppressed will hear good news. The wounds of the brokenhearted will be mended. There will be peace.

 Herbert ODriscoll reminds us that it was this lesson that Jesus read when he visited the synagogue in Nazareth. This reading describes Jesusministry of healing and forgiveness. It also describes the shalom that we are building with him. We, too, are called to share good news and to help those who are hurting.

 Our Canticle this morning, the beautiful and beloved Magnificat, the Song of Mary, is another description of the Kingdom, the shalom of God. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away.The shalom of Christ holds up the values of simplicity, compassion, meekness, mercy, humility, healing, and peace to a world which needs these things so badly but in its headlong rush to power has little time to recognize the treasure of this other kingdom right in our midst.

 Our epistle this morning is short, but it says so much. Like us, the early Christians were waiting for our Lord to come and set things right. Waiting is not just a passive thing. It is active and expectant.

 Paul tells us some things we can do so that, like the maidens waiting for the bridegroom to come, we can keep oil in our lamps and we can be ready for his arrival. Paul writes, Rejoice always.No matter what is going on in our lives or around us, we are called to be people of joy because we are one with Christ. We have all met people whose faith is so deep that they can reach to those springs of joy.

 Pray without ceasing,Paul tells us. Now, there is a tall order. How can we pray constantly? I think this is more of a goal than something we can achieve. The ancient Jesus Prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.is an attempt to carry out this command to pray without ceasing. We breathe in, saying Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,and we breathe out, saying ,Have mercy on me, a sinner.A shorter version of the prayer is to say Jesusas we breathe in, and mercyas we breathe out. Thus, we are breathing in the presence of our Lord, and we are letting go of our sins and accepting his mercy as we breathe out. The point is that, with each breath, we are praying. The more constantly we pray, the closer we are to Jesus, and the more faith and joy we have.

Give thanks in all circumstances.Now, there is a challenge. Give thanks when we have just lost a job? Or when someone we love has received a devastating diagnosis? Or when a family member is having huge problems? Yes, give thanks in all things. Not because we like to have brokenness in our lives and the lives of those we love, but because we know that our Lord is with us, to help us get through these times.

 Do not quench the Spirit.Gods Holy Spirit is at work in us and in the world. The Holy Spirit is at work in all times and in all things, even when we cannot see it. We need to be careful to look for the presence of the Spirit and to nurture the work of the Spirit. Whenever good news is being spread and whenever the brokenhearted are being helped, the Spirit is at work. Whenever the fruits of the Spirit are presentlove, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, there the Spirit is at work.

 To summarize, rejoice, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, dont quench the Spirit, look for the presence of the spirit. These are some of the things we are called to do in order to get ready for the coming of our Lord.

In our gospel, we read about that amazing figure, John the Baptist. His ministry was to call us to repentance. As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, we examine our lives and confess those sins of omission and commissionthings we ought to have done but did not do, and things we ought not to have done but did anywayand we ask Gods forgiveness and ask God to give us the grace to amend our lives. We clean out our spiritual clutter and make room for our Lord in our lives and hearts.

At this darkest time of the year, we know that the light is coming into the world.

Dear Lord, source of all love and grace, help us to make room for you in the inns of our hearts. Amen.

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