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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:…

Christmas 1 December 30, 2018

Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Psalm 147 or 147:13-21
Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7
John 1:1-18

Our First reading, from Isaiah, dates to one of the most joyful times in the history of God’s people. After almost fifty years of exile, the people are returning home to rebuild the temple and rebuild their homes and their lives.

This passage is full of images of growth and life. Isaiah writes, “As the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations. The word “righteousness” means right relationship with God. This is a beautiful and powerful statement that, just as the earth brings forth good fruit, God is going to give the people grace to have right relationships with God and with each other. This is God’s will for us as well.

Our reading from Galatians traces our spiritual history. For a long time, humans beings were imprisoned under the law. We had the ten commandments to guide us, but we were not able to follow them, and we felt separated from God. Because we could not follow the law, we felt we were drifting farther and farther from God.

Now God has sent his beloved Son, Jesus. Jesus has let us know how much God loves us, and we can now relate to God in the most intimate way. We can call God “Abba,” which is a very familiar and endearing term. This means that we can now call God Dad or Daddy or Mom or Mama. We have been adopted as God’s own beloved children.

Our reading from John’s gospel brings all of this together. John’s gospel begins with the powerful statement, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word is Jesus, the logos, the plan, the pattern for life, the blueprint for human existence. The Word brought forth the whole creation.

And then, the powerful Word who has created the universe comes among us, is born just the same way we were born. Some of his own people do not recognize who he is, but those who do realize who he is, those who open their hearts and lives to him, receive grace upon grace. We are among those blessed and fortunate people.

Later on in John’s Gospel Jesus tells us, “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30.) This means that God loves us so much that God Godself has come among us as a baby. God loves us so much that God adopts us as God’s own children in the closest possible relationship.

John writes, “The Word became flesh and lived among us….From his fullness we have received grace upon grace.” God has come to be with us. God is enfleshed; God is incarnate. What an extraordinary gift!

One other theme that runs through our readings today is light. John writes, “What has come into being in [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of all people The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” At the darkest time of year, God has come among us. God’s light and love and hope have come to be with us. This is another profound and wonderful gift.

The First Letter of John tells us, “God is love.” God has come to be with us to share God’s love, grace, and truth. In his Christmas message, Bishop Tom says that we can also be a gift to others. We are the gift because we can share God’s love with others. Amen.

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