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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:…

Last Sunday after the Epiphany Year C RCL February 7, 2016

Exodus 34:29-35
Psalm 99
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

We are ending the Epiphany season and getting ready to enter the season of Lent. In our opening reading from the Book of Exodus, Moses comes down from the mountain with the tablets of the Ten Commandments in his hand. The skin of his face is shining with the shekina, the light of the presence of God.

Moses is showing forth the glory of God because he has spent time in the presence of God receiving the Law. This makes him a holy person, a person to be revered and admired. It also makes him someone to be feared because people of that time believed that you could not see God and live. So Moses veils his face to protect the people from the light of God’s presence.

As we look at our reading from the Second Letter to the Corinthians, we remember that Paul was a Pharisee, a legal scholar, and an expert on the Law. He had studied the Law carefully all his life. Yet he is the one who said that the law convicts us. We do the things that we do not want to do, and we do not do the things that we know we should do, and we are caught in a tangle of sin, and we are paralyzed in that tangle and we lose hope of ever making any progress.

In this letter, Paul is contrasting the grace of the law and the grace that comes through Jesus. Moses had to put a veil over his face because people were scared of God. Now, we can see God face to face as we look into the face of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. And so, we are a people of hope. We are being transformed into the likeness of Christ.

In our gospel for today, we go up on the mountain with our Lord. Just before this, Jesus has asked the disciples who they think he is, and Peter has replied that Jesus is the messiah. We go up the mountain to pray with our Lord, and  with Peter and James and John. And Jesus shines forth with the presence and power of God. Then Moses and Elijah, the two great prophets, are talking with him, and they are shining with the light of God’s presence.

Peter and James and John are, the text says, “weighed down with sleep.” We know how that feels. They have been awake for a long time, They are tired, but they are awake and they see Jesus and Moses and Elijah.

Peter knows that this is a holy moment and he thinks it would be good to build a shrine so that they can come back and see Jesus and these two great prophets. But, like all mountaintop experiences, this one cannot be frozen in time.

And then the cloud, much like the cloud that often hung about Mt. Sinai when Moses was meeting with God, the cloud that signifies God’s presence, descends upon the mountain, and God tells them and us, “This is my Son, my Chosen. Listen to him!”

The next minute, the cloud is gone; Moses and Elijah are gone. Jesus stands alone.

We have all had those mountaintop experiences. There may have been moments on retreats when we have been aware of the closeness of our Lord. We realize that he has been leading and guiding us all the time, and we can sense the depth of his love for us.

Our mountaintop experience may have been time in worship when the beauty of the service touches us so deeply that we cannot even find words to express it. When I first began to attend the Episcopal Church, just those few words at the end of the Lord’s prayer, “For ever and ever,” meant so much to me. They gave me a sense of the everlasting and infinite nature of God. Ancient chants such as, “Let all mortal flesh keep silence” express so much about the power and holiness of God.

So often, these moments come right in the midst of ordinary life. Barbara Brown Taylor writes of feeling close to God as she was hanging laundry on the line in the warm sun and the fresh air. How often have we been deeply aware of God’s presence in a sunrise or a sunset, in a beautiful natural setting.

Many times, we sense God’s presence when we are with people we love. Their acceptance and understanding when we share something that is troubling us; their wise guidance when we are feeling overwhelmed; or their enthusiastic sharing of a triumphant moment in our lives all speak of God’s love.

Today, we are on the mountaintop with Jesus, and we see who he really is. We see the glory of God radiating from him, but we are not like the people of Moses’ time so many centuries ago. We are not afraid. We see who he really is, but we also experience his love. We remember all the sick people he has healed, all the children he has held in his arms, all the people who thought they were outcasts welcomed into his loving community. We remember all that he has done for us.

So, when we are commanded to listen to him, this is something we can do. We can listen to him and we can follow him, because he has taken away the old fear and replaced it with love. He has taken away the old paralysis in the face of the law and replaced it with hope, He has taken away the overwhelming weight of sin and replaced it with forgiveness and the grace to learn and do better.

We are on a journey with him to become more like him. We are on a journey of transformation. May we follow him.  Amen.

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