• Content

  • Pages

  • Upcoming Events

    • 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:…

Easter 7B RCL May 17, 2015

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1
1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19

Our first reading is from the Book of Acts, which is the history of what happened in the early Church just after the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord. Jesus has just ascended into heaven. We have a beautiful window dedicated to that scene just above our altar. Jesus has told the apostles that he has to go to be with the Father, but that he will send the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.

Between the Ascension of our Lord and the Feast of Pentecost, the apostles gathered in one place and prayed, as Jesus had directed them to do. In our reading for today, Peter calls the apostles to deal with an extremely painful reality, the reality of Judas’ betrayal of our Lord. It is time to seek God’s guidance in choosing someone to complete the number of the Twelve. The apostles must choose someone who has been with Jesus from the very beginning of his ministry, when he was baptized by his cousin John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Someone who has been with Jesus and with the apostles, day in and day out, through all the challenges and joys of their ministry together. Someone who has watched in horror as Jesus was crucified and then cried in joyous surprise to see him risen. Someone who has stood with the group and watched him ascend to the Father. Two men are chosen—Joseph, called Barsabbas, known as Justus, and Matthias. They pray; they cast lots, and Matthias is chosen. Tradition tells us that Matthias served faithfully, just as he had followed Jesus during his ministry, but, like so many followers of our Lord, he went about his whole ministry quietly, without fanfare.

Jesus told his apostles and us that he is the Vine, and we are the branches, and he told us that the whole point of his ministry and our ministry is to share God’s love.

Yet today we deal with something terrible that happened just before Jesus endured his mock trial and was crucified. One of the people Jesus had called to be among his closest followers betrayed him. There is evidence in the scriptures that Judas regretted this act almost as soon as he did it. The Book of Acts tells us that he literally spilled his guts in a field he had bought with the thirty pieces of silver, and Matthew’s gospel tells us that he hanged himself.

Just imagine how it must have felt to be one of the twelve closest followers of Jesus and to know that a member of that group had betrayed our Lord. Sadness, anger, and many other feelings must have surged through the group.

Yet, by the grace of God, they held together. And here they are in our reading today choosing Matthias to join them.

Our gospel for today is from Jesus’ prayer for his followers. He has taught us about God, and he asks God to protect us as we live in a world that is full of violence and competitiveness and darkness and brokenness, a world that is so far from the shalom that our Lord has called us to build. And yet, quietly, steadily, the Spirit is at work, and that shalom grows.

We can see God’s protection at work as the apostles gather in prayer to call Matthias to join them. And we can be aware of God’s protection for them as they waited and prayed for our Lord to send the Holy Spirit. Our Lord also asks God to give us the gift of joy.

In our epistle for today from the First Letter of John,we read, “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” Because we are part of the Body of Christ, we have the gift of life that is deeper and more meaningful because we are part of our Lord and he lives in us. We know what the purpose of life is. We know that he is with us. He is the Vine and we are the branches. Our life is not about just our human needs and wants. It is about allowing him to live in us. It is about our being a part of him. That is what we mean when we say that he is alive in us and we are alive in him. Much more alive than if we were just going about life on our own human terms.

Jesus has ascended to heaven. We are gathered in prayer. We are waiting with joy for the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, which is this coming Sunday. God has brought this community through many challenges. A few decades ago, the church building was condemned, and a faithful group worked to restore the building to a stable condition.  Very soon, at the Mark Sustic concert, Grace Church will be full to capacity, bursting with joyful music, and standing up to the challenge of stomping and dancing feet.

God still guides and protects the Church, and the gift of joy is still very real. Each and every one of you is much like Matthias—faithful  servants who go about your ministries quietly but with great love and care.

Fortunately, we do not have among us one who has betrayed the Lord, But we do have a beloved member who cannot be with us because of her ministry in the world, and that is our sister in Christ, jan. We also have Nick, who cannot be with us because of a demanding work schedule and family obligations. Please keep them especially in your prayers and, if you get a chance, please send  an email or two to let them know you are thinking of them.

Let us take time this week to think about the coming of the Holy Spirit among us, and let us prepare with joy to receive the gifts of the Spirit.

If you have something red to wear for Pentecost, please feel free to do that.  Please also think of all the translations of the word “Peace” that you know, and we will use them during the exchange of the Peace.

Let us thank God for God’s protection, and let us reflect on the joy we have in being members of the Body of Christ and members of this community of faith.  Amen.

%d bloggers like this: