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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:…

Maundy Thursday April 1, 2021

Exodus 12:1-4, 11-14
Psalm 116:1, 10-17
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-17, 31b-35

The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin Mandatum Novum, “new commandment.” Jesus says, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

Jesus and his disciples have gathered for the Passover meal. He says the usual blessings over the bread and wine, blessings they have heard their whole lives, but then he tells them that the bread is his body and the wine is his blood and that this meal will be a special way to call him into our midst. And so Christians have done for centuries.

Most shocking of all, he washes their feet. He has said that he is among them as one who serves, but when he kneels down and washes their feet, it is shocking. Peter tell Jesus that he, their King, cannot do such a thing. But Jesus says he must wash our feet or we will have no share in him. We will not be a part of him. We will not be one with him. And Peter says that our Lord should wash not only his feet but his hands and his head. 

The last time we were physically together for Holy Eucharist was on March 8, 2020, the Second Sunday in Lent. We have been fasting from Holy Eucharist for over a year. We cannot wash each other’s feet for the second Maundy Thursday in a row. These are our Lenten sacrifices this year, and this fast has been extremely difficult. We are feeling frustrated, sad, angry, many intense feelings.

Because we are not in our beloved building, there is another thing we cannot do. We cannot participate in the ritual of stripping the altar, taking everything away and leaving the altar completely unadorned and vulnerable. We put a wooden cross on the altar to remind ourselves of why we are doing this. We are doing this because tomorrow is Good Friday. Our Lord was stripped and vulnerable. He died on that cross.

Why is this silent ritual so powerful? There are many reasons, but perhaps one of them is that we want to strip ourselves of all that is not important, all that is irrelevant. We want to be clean. We want to be one with our Lord. We want to be part of him and part of the transformation that we call his shalom, his kingdom on earth.

We want to prepare ourselves to focus on the cross and its meaning.

The core of that meaning is what he has just told us. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love  one another.” Let us focus on his love. Let us immerse ourselves in his love. Let us continue to walk the Way of the Cross and the Way of Love with our Lord. In His holy Name. Amen.

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