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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:…

The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ January 8, 2017

Isaiah 42:1-9
Psalm 29
Acts 10:34-43
Matthew 3:13-17

Today we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord. Our first reading is the inspiring description of God’s servant and of the ministry to which God calls all of us. God’s servant is gentle, He does not break a bruised reed, He does not put out a candle that is flickering. He is here to bring forth justice.

God tells us that God has taken us by the hand and guided and protected us. God has called us to be a light to the nations. God has called us to open the eyes of the blind, to free prisoners from their dungeons. God tells us that the former things have passed and that God is creating something new.

In our reading from the Book of Acts, we hear from Peter. He has realized that the new faith in Christ is for all people. Peter gives a summary of the ministry of our Lord and tells his listeners that we have been called to spread the Good News to everyone.

In our gospel for today, we have the privilege of being present at the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Up to this point, Jesus has led a quiet life. We think that he spent time studying the scriptures and that he was familiar with the passage from Isaiah which describes God’s servant. He probably worked with Joseph in the carpenter shop. He may have studied with the Essenes, a religious community of that time. We can assume that he knew how to work hard, that he was part of a large extended family and he lived a normal, quiet everyday life.

But now he goes south from Galilee to where his cousin John is baptizing people in the Jordan River. John feels that Jesus should be baptizing him, but Jesus insists that John baptize him.

This is baptism by immersion, a kind of drowning, That is what baptism means in Greek— a drowning to our old self. Jesus falls back into the water and is submerged. Then he comes up out of the water and he hears the voice of God telling Jesus who he is.

Jesus was fully human. Like all of us, he had wondered who he was, what his gifts were, what he was called to do, what his ministry would be. As we watch his ministry unfold, we can see that he knew the scriptures about Gods suffering servant, the one who is so gentle and compassionate, the one who can see deep into each of us, the one who can reach the hurt places within us and offer healing and forgiveness, the one who can cure us of our blindness and free us from things that imprison us.

But when he emerged from the water and heard the voice of his heavenly father, he knew on a deeper level what he was called to do. From then on, he gave all his time and energy to the people who thronged around him, hungry for love and healing and forgiveness.

The prophet Isaiah gives us God’s description of the suffering. compassionate servant. That is a description of the ministry of our Lord, but it is also a description of the ministry to which each of us is called, and to which all of us are called together.

We are called to free people from blindness and to help them see the love and healing that comes from our Lord. We are called to help to free people from things which imprison them, things such as addiction, poverty, and abuse. We are called to help to bring justice to the earth.

As we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord, we remember that we are members of his risen Body called to do his ministry here on earth.

So this morning, let us renew our own baptismal vows by sharing in the Baptismal Covenant, page 304.

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