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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:…

Good Friday   March 30, 2018

The following are excerpts from a meditation by Martin Smith of the Society of St, John the Evangelist. The meditation is called “No More Tears.”

The suffering of God is one of the deepest mysteries of the Christian faith. Those who hear about it for the first time are often shocked, for this mystery doesn’t lie on the surface of the scriptures but deep down.

…In the agony and crucifixion of Jesus God was not hurt merely by sympathy with the latest prophet to be martyred. God suffered in Christ.  The audacious teaching of the early Christians that Jesus was the Incarnation of God’s Word and Wisdom had the staggering consequence of making the crucifixion on Golgotha God’s climactic suffering at the hands of his own creatures. God suffers.

Maybe this [Good Friday] could  be a good time for [us] to ponder this mystery. It could help [us] realize how revolutionary the doctrine of the incarnation is. If Jesus is nothing more than the greatest prophet of God, then we can leave God out of suffering in heaven. But if the Crucified is God, then God is revealed as the one who is with us in suffering. The concept of God as a remote and dispassionate observer is smashed as an idol.

What effect might is have in [our own lives] to ponder this mystery?…We may find our way of  thinking of God’s presence in the world undergoing a change. If God suffers, then God can truly be recognized by faith as present everywhere in a creation that groans in travail. We will stop praying to God to pay attention to this or that tragedy. God doesn’t need to pay attention to suffering because he is already present in and with the sufferers, and from that place of pain is moving us to contribute our caring and loving to his.

Contemplating the mystery of God’s cross will change the way we come to terms with our own pain. If we have explored the mystery beforehand we may, when sickness, death, betrayal, or disappointment befall us, be better prepared to see that God is not far from us, but keeps us company and continues to hold us up with those hands that from the beginning of time have been pierced with unimaginable nails.

But such is the mystery that all the seasons of Lent left to us in this life will not be enough to sound its depths. Only by seeing Christ in the glory of the Father with his hands, feet,  and side still pierced with wounds will we grasp that Mystery—or be grasped by it.

Martin L. Smith, SSJE, “No More Tears,” in Nativities and Passions, pp. 148-151.

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