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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:…

Ash Wednesday  February 26, 2020

“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” These are the words we hear as the ashes are placed on our foreheads today. According to the Book of Genesis, Adam was the first person God made. Scholars tell us that the root word for the name “Adam” is the Hebrew Adamah, meaning “ground” or “dust.” Genesis 2:7 says, “then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a  living being.” We are formed from the earth and we will return to the earth.

And yet, there is another truth in these ashes. They are formed when we take the palms with which we welcomed our Lord into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and burn those palms. So, we could say that these ashes certainly remind us that we are frail and fallible and human, that we came from the earth and will return to the earth. Yet there is something else. These are the palms we threw on the ground; these are the remains of the palms on which our Lord walked when we welcomed him as our King on Palm Sunday.

These ashes, placed on our foreheads in the sign of the cross, remind us that we are sinners. These ashes also remind us that Jesus is our King. We are following him. We are walking the same path he walked, the path to the cross. We are frail and fallible sinners, and we are in a process of transformation through our life in and with Jesus.

Humility is also a word that comes from the ground. The root of Humility is humus, the good, rich earth tilled and prepared for planting. Humility does not mean that we have to go around beating our breasts and saying how awful we are. Nor do we make a spectacle of carrying out our spiritual disciplines. But we are like the tilled field—open to God’s planting of light and grace and healing and discernment.

We are not perfect. We don’t do everything right. We are not in control of everything. What a relief it is to admit that truth! We need help from God. We need God’s grace. 

We know where we are going this Lent. We have the Ten Commandments and the words of Isaiah and the call of Paul to reconciliation. We have the call to love God with our heart and soul and mind and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Our Lord calls us to store up treasures in heaven, treasures such as faith, hope, and love rather than earthly treasures such as power, acquisition, and control.

We have seen the vision of God’s reign, God’s shalom. lived out right in front of us in the life of Jesus.

And that is why we are following him. And we know that we need his help. And so, this Lent, we will be letting go of things that get in the way between Jesus and us. And we’ll be taking on disciplines that help us to grow closer to Jesus and God and the Spirit. 

These are different for each of us. For some, it might be more time in prayer. For some, it may be a form of fasting, staying away from a favorite food or skipping a meal, a small form of sacrifice compared to what he did for us. but at least something. For quite a few us, it might be Lent Madness, a light-hearted way to learn about the heroes and heroines of our faith, the saints of God.

We are trying to align our hearts and minds with the heart and mind of Christ. We are trying to grow closer to him in praying the prayer of Christ, learning the mind of Christ and doing the deeds of Christ.

It may mean that we are taking special care to find ways to accept his love for us on a deeper level. Doing something that nurtures us and makes us feel close to God, like playing a musical instrument, singing, drawing, skiing or snowshoeing out in God’s beautiful creation—whatever it is that lets us feel close to the love of God.

Since Lent comes from the Old English word for spring, I wish you a Lent full of growth and joy and light and love. Our Good Shepherd is out in front of us leading us. Yes, we are walking the way of the cross, and it is a way that leads to newness of life. May God bless us on this holy journey. Amen.

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