• Content

  • Pages

  • Upcoming Events

    • 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:…

Last Sunday after Epiphany Year B February 14, 2021

2 Kings 2:1-12
Psalm 50:1-6
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Mark 9:2-9

In our opening reading today, we meet the great prophet Elijah and his disciple, Elisha. Elijah is about to be carried up to heaven in a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire. His student and successor, Elisha, cannot bear to think of Elijah leaving. He is also a faithful disciple, so he keeps following Elijah. He does not want to leave his teacher. He will follow Elijah to the end.

To make the parting a bit more gentle, Elijah asks Elisha what he can do for him before he goes to be with God. Elisha’s response is full of wisdom and honesty. He asks for a double share of Elijah’s spirit.  And then, Elijah is borne up to heaven.

Scholars tell us that, by the time his Second Letter to the Corinthians was written, there were some tensions between Paul and the community in Corinth. Paul had planned to visit them and that had not happened, and other issues had arisen. In this passage, Paul is calling us to concentrate on why we are here and what our mission is.

He calls us to focus on “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” He reminds us that “…it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone is our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

In our gospel for today, Jesus has been telling his disciples about the cross, and he has been calling them to take up their own cross. He takes his closest followers, Peter, James, and John, and they go up on the mountain. This morning, we have the privilege of walking with Jesus, Peter, James, and John.

Here we are, climbing higher and higher with our Lord and his three most trusted companions. Just a few days ago, he fed five thousand people. Now, we are following him upward, upward,  into more and more silence. As we move upward, the noise and stress of the world slip away.

As we follow Jesus and Peter and James and John, we think of how Moses received the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. We think of how many times Jesus goes to the mountains to pray, and we know that we are going to a special place, a hallowed place.

Shortly after we reach the summit, something happens that we will never forget. Jesus is transfigured. His skin and clothes become a dazzling white, so bright that we have to shade our eyes. And then two great prophets appear, Moses on one side of Jesus and Elijah on the other side, and they are talking with Jesus as if they are old friends, communicating with the greatest love and respect.

Peter is so overcome that he says a few things about booths and trying to preserve this moment forever. We cannot speak. We are in awe and silent in the face of what we are witnessing.

Then a cloud overshadows Jesus and Moses and Elijah. There is a voice, unlike any voice we have ever heard. It is a voice resonating with the power of love and grace. “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him.” That is the same voice we heard at his Baptism in the Jordan River, the voice of God, telling us who Jesus truly is, the Beloved Son of God.

We are blinded by the dazzling light, and our hearts almost stop when we hear that voice telling us that Jesus is not only our teacher and our friend and our leader, but the Son of God. And then that voice commands: “listen to him.” And we answer with a silent promise to listen to him always. To seek and do his will.

And then we remember that our Lord has been saying he is going to have to die on a cross, He is our king and yet he is going to suffer. But right now, as we stand in the remaining glow of that shimmering, powerful light and listen to the receding echoes of that unforgettable voice, we are realizing that our beloved leader is the Son of God. We are in the presence of the Son of God.

And then, Moses and Elijah are gone. Only Jesus remains.

On the way down, we don’t talk very much. We are thinking about what has just happened, absorbing the meaning of it. He is going to suffer on the worst instrument of torture ever invented. But he tells us not to tell anyone about all of this until after he has risen from the dead.  He is telling us that he is going to rise from the dead!     

Coming back to Vermont, Virginia, and Florida in 2021, this is the end of the Epiphany season of light and mission. This Wednesday will be Ash Wednesday and we will begin our Lenten journey. In our gospel today, we are given the vision of our Lord transfigured so that we can remember that he is the Son of God; he is God walking the face of the earth. He suffered on the cross to show us the Way of Love and he calls us to live the Way of Love.

In some small way, we will be following him this Lent by fasting, praying, and giving alms. Some of us will be following Lent Madness. Some may be attending the Social Justice Bible Challenge with Bishop Shannon on Wednesday evenings from 7-8 PM.

We will be walking the Way of the Cross during this season of penitence and that way will lead to the cross on Good Friday. As we walk that path of self-examination, self-discipline, and transformation, we will have this vision from the Last Sunday of Epiphany to lead us and guide us. We will recall that dazzling image of our Lord atop that mountain standing with two great prophets and we will hear the voice of God reminding us about whom we are following and calling us to listen to him.

May we listen to him, carefully and with open hearts. May we follow him faithfully. And, as we pray in our collect, “May we be changed into his likeness from glory to glory.” Amen.

%d bloggers like this: