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    • Sunday service - Holy Communion December 11, 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 December 18, 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 December 25, 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:…

Good Friday April 2, 3021

Toward the end of the Good Friday gospel which we have just read, after hours and hours of suffering, Jesus sees his mother, Mary, and Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene, and John, the Beloved Disciple standing at the foot of the cross.

Although he has gone through this horrible agony, Jesus does one more thing that expresses his love so profoundly.   He says to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” And to John.”Here is your mother.” He creates a new family. He takes care of his mother. He takes care of his beloved friend. From that hour, John takes Mary, the mother of our Lord, into his home.

In his great love, our Lord has made us into a family, a family bonded together by his love and his presence. We have been in a long fast—over a year. We have not been able to be together; we have not been able to share Holy Eucharist; we have not been able to share the Peace, or hug each other, or talk face to face.

When this all began, I thought maybe it would be a few weeks or maybe months. But it has been much longer. During that time, more of our members have been called to volunteer at our food shelf. This ministry is a clear and powerful expression of God’s love for everyone. As Archbishop Tutu says, “God has a big family.”

Although we have been in this long, lonely, tragic fast and have lost so many brothers and sisters to Covid 19, I believe we have grown more deeply aware of this family God is creating and of the love God has for all of God’s children, our brothers and sisters. I think we have realized on deeper levels the power of God’s love.

Barbara Brown Taylor writes, “By entering into the experience of the cross, God took the man-made wreckage of the world inside himself and labored with it—a long labor, almost three days—and he did not let go of it until he could transform it and return it to us as life. This is the power of a suffering God, not to prevent pain but to redeem it, by going through it with us.” (Taylor, God in Pain: Sermons on Suffering, p. 118.)

God has made us a part of God’s big family, and God has been pouring out God’s love and grace and healing so that we can move through this exile, this fast, this desert experience of loneliness and lostness, this wandering, this grief, this frustration and anger, and grow stronger for it, as individuals and as a family rooted and grounded in Christ, a family linked together by the love of Christ. A family nurtured and guided by our Good Shepherd, who hears us when we call and knows each of us by name.

He has taken all the brokenness, all the sin, all that hurts and destroys and, as Taylor says, “returned it to us as life.” He has done all of this because he loves us with a love that is so deep and wide that we will never be able to understand it, but we can accept that love, and we can share it with others as we have been doing.

Just before he died, he created that new family, We are a part of that. We are a family in Him, and we are a part of his big family. May we accept his boundless love and may we continue to share his love with our brothers and sisters. Amen.