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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:…

Easter Day March 27, 2016

Acts 10:34-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Luke 24:1-12

When the women walked to the tomb early on that first Easter morning, they had just witnessed one of the most horrifying events one could imagine. They had spent three years with Jesus, and, as they watched him and listened to him, they realized that he was different from anyone they had ever met.

They followed him, and the group of followers became larger and larger. He brought healing and hope to everyone he met. He would touch people and they would rise up from their mats where they had lain crippled for years, or he would make a poultice from mud and spit and put it on their eyes and they would see after a lifetime of blindness. He fed thousands at one time.

But what he really wanted to do was to give them and us another way to live, a way based entirely on love and service. He made this clear when he washed their feet at that last Passover and when he said that in this simple meal of bread and wine he would be with us forever.

As they walked to that tomb, their feet dragging with fatigue and  dashed hopes, those women may have thought that his vision for the world, his vision for our lives and our life together, had died.

Have you ever really believed in something or given your all to something or someone, and then realized it was over? Maybe that someone was not who they professed to be. Maybe the vision had some fatal flaws which had not been apparent at the outset. Most of us have had experiences like this. Someone or something we felt passionately about—a person or a dream or a project or a vision comes to an and, falls apart, dies.

And we feel as though it’s all over for us.

What’s the use of trying to go on, we wonder. There’s nothing to live for. These women walking to the tomb were suffering deep grief because they had lost a person whom they loved deeply, a person who had changed their lives and given them hope and a purpose in life. Jesus had died, and they may well have felt that all their hopes had died with him.

When they got to that tomb and found the stone rolled away, and went in, and found no body, they began to wonder. And then, when the two angels reminded them of what Jesus had said and told them that he had risen—they couldn’t get back to the others fast enough to tell them this good news.

Most of us have had experiences of profound loss and disappointment, something that has made our world fall apart, something that has made us lose hope. That is how those women felt, That is how all of Jesus’ close followers felt.

Most of us have also had our own experiences of Good Friday. Our Lord has wrestled with the forces of death and has lost the battle. We go back to the upper room and pray and wonder, what next?

But we have to go and prepare the body for burial. The Sabbath is over and we just have to give him a decent burial. And when we get there, the landscape of our lives is completely transformed.

He told us there was a different way to go  about things. He told us there was a different way to live. And he has just proved that that way leads to new life. It leads to his kingdom his shalom of peace, harmony, and wholeness.

Most of us have had our Good Fridays and most of us have had our Easter mornings. We go to the tomb to prepare the body and it is not there. He is risen.

Yes, the world is full of violence. There has been a terrorist attack in Brussels. Refugees are streaming out of Syria and Afghanistan trying to save their children from the ravages of war. There is violence in our own country as well. Here, and all over the world, people are hungry. They need shelter; they need clothing; they need medical care; they need hope.

We can look around us and think there is no hope. that we can do nothing. But that is not what our Lord is doing. He is risen. He is calling us to follow the commandment he gave us at the Last Supper—to love and serve others as he loves and serves us.

On this Easter morning, March 27, 2016, we are deeply aware that there is much brokenness and violence in this world. At the same time, we must remember that he is risen and he is in our midst. He has a vision, and he is calling us to help him bring in his shalom.

I quote our Presiding Bishop retired, Katherine Jeffers Schori: “The word ‘shalom’ is usually translated as ‘peace,’ but it’s a far richer and deeper understanding of peace than we usually recognize. It’s not just a 1970s era hippie holding up two fingers to greet a friend—‘Peace, bro.’ It isn’t just telling two arguers to get over their differences. Shalom is a vision of the city of God on earth, a community where people are at peace with each other because each one has enough to eat, adequate shelter, medical care, and meaningful work. Shalom is a city where justice is the rule of the day, where prejudice has vanished, where the diverse gifts with which we have been so abundantly blessed are equally valued.

“…Building the reign of God is a great and bold adventure, and it is the only route to being fully alive. If we don’t set out to change the world, who will?” (Jefferts Schori, A Wing and A Prayer, pp. 33 and 35.)

Christ is risen. Christ is alive. He lives in us and we in him. Let us help him build his kingdom, his shalom.   Amen.

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