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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  April 21, 2019

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

“Jesus Christ is risen today,” the joyous hymn proclaims. For the next fifty days of the Easter season, all our readings will come from the New Testament, the Greek scriptures, proclaiming that we are an Easter people.

It all begins with the women going to the tomb. They have brought the spices so that they can give Jesus a decent burial. They find the stone rolled away from the tomb. Two angels tell them he is risen. These heavenly beings remind the women that Jesus had said this would happen, and, with this prompt they recall what he had said. They go back and tell the other disciples. The others do not believe them. But Peter gets up and runs to the tomb. He sees that it is empty, and he also sees the linen cloths lying there. Jesus’ body had been there, but was there no longer. The text says that Peter went home, amazed at what had happened.

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the women go to the tomb. In Mark it is Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome. In Matthew, it is Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.” Here, in Luke, it is Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James and “the other women.” In John’s gospel, of course, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb alone, while it is still dark, and has a dramatic and life-changing encounter with the risen Christ. According to John the Evangelist, Mary Magdalene is the first person to meet the risen Lord. According to the other gospels, Mary Magdalene is one of the first witnesses to the resurrection.

To borrow a phrase from Fulton Oursler, this is “The Greatest Story Ever Told,”and at first it was passed on by word of mouth. Different people were struck by different aspects of the story. But always, these women are the first to see that empty tomb, these women from Galilee who followed Jesus every step of the way.

Peter was a fisherman from Galilee, that out of the way and free- thinking area north of the big city. Jesus asked him to follow him and become a fisher of people, and Peter left everything and followed our Lord. Jesus chose Peter to be the leader of the apostles. Peter denied Jesus three times, something he deeply regretted. The Risen Lord met Peter on the beach. Jesus asked him three times, “Peter, do you love me?’ and Peter responded, “Lord, you know that I love you.” And Jesus said, “Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep.” That was a forgiveness and a commissioning of Peter to spread the word. Jesus is asking us to do that, too, feed his sheep.

The good news about Jesus spread, and new converts flocked into the new community. Peter had followed the law and thought everybody else should do the same until he had that vision while he was praying on the roof. All kinds of animals came down on a big sheet, and God said, “Kill and eat.” It was no longer necessary to follow the dietary laws. And in our opening reading he is telling a crowd of people gathered at the home of Cornelius, all Gentiles, that everyone is included in God’s family.

Paul, the writer of our second reading, did not have the opportunity to  be with Jesus during our Lord’s earthly ministry. Paul was a Roman citizen, a member of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee, and a persecutor of the followers of Jesus. After witnessing a crowd stoning Stephen to death, Saul of Tarsus, soon to be Paul, was rushing to Damascus to encourage further persecution when the risen Christ confronted him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul was blinded by the light of Christ. He was transformed. He began planting communities of faith around the Mediterranean Sea.

He founded the church in Corinth, and he is telling his beloved Corinthians and all of us that our Lord has conquered every force of brokenness and darkness and death, He has risen and we will rise with him. He will transform our lives.

On Tuesday, April 30, we will be traveling to the United Church in Newport to meet Shannon, Hilary, and Hillary, three women who, like us, have been to the empty tomb this morning. We will meet these three followers of Jesus who feel called to be our Bishop. The Holy Spirit will guide us in discerning which of these three faithful servants of Christ will serve as Bishop of Vermont.

We all are part of the current generation of folks who have heard this wonderful story, who have met our risen Lord at various times in our lives, and have allowed him to lead us into the light of his love, the joy of new life in Him.

The story goes on. The story of newness of life. The story of his infinite love, The story of his endless and eternal healing.

And he asks, “Will you follow me?” And we say, Yes, Lord, we will.”

Amen. Alleluia.

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