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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 3B April 18, 2021

Acts 3:12-19
Psalm 4
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48

This morning, we are going to look at our readings in chronological order so that we can trace the story and the meaning of our Lord’s resurrection. In terms of the events, the gospel reading is the earliest in time.

Today’s gospel follows the powerful story of the road to Emmaus.  It is later on the Day of Resurrection. That morning, at dawn, Mary Magdalene, Joanna,  Mary, the Mother of James, and some other women had gone to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away. They had gone into the tomb and found it empty. Two angels had told them that Jesus had risen. They had told the others about this, but their good news was dismissed as “idle talk.” Peter had listened carefully, had visited the tomb. and had seen that it was empty.

On the same day, Cleopas and another of Jesus’ followers were walking to Emmaus. The text tells us it was a distance of seven miles. They are talking with each other about how Jesus died on the cross and what a horror it was and how very sad they are.

Suddenly a stranger is walking with them. He asks then what they are talking about, and they tell him about what happened to Jesus. They even tell the stranger about what the women had seen and heard at the empty tomb. But they have no idea who the stranger is. It is only when they extend hospitality to the man walking with them and share a meal with him that he becomes known to them in the breaking of bread. 

He disappears, and they return to Jerusalem, marveling about how he had opened the scriptures to them. 

They join the others, bursting with their good news. But the word is already going around that the risen Lord has appeared to Peter.

Suddenly, quietly, Jesus is standing in the midst of them.saying, “Peace be with you!” They can’t believe he is real, so he invites them to touch him. They are still wondering when he asks, Have you something to eat?”

Ghosts do not eat. They realize he has risen. And then, just as he did with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, he goes over the scriptures to prove to them that he is the Messiah, that he suffered as the scriptures said he would and that he is risen.

Then he gives them a commission. They are to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name.

Chronologically, our reading from the Book of Acts is the next event in historical time. In the part of the chapter preceding our reading for today. Peter and John were walking into the temple around three o’clock in the afternoon, the time of prayer, when they saw a man who had been lame from birth. Every day people would carry him to a place by the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask folks to donate money  so that he could support himself.

The man saw Peter and John walking into the temple and asked for help, Peter said that he did not have any money, but he healed the man in the name of Jesus. The man jumped up and began to walk and leap and praise God. This drew a big crowd. Our reading for today is Peter’s sermon to that crowd. Peter asks the people why they are staring as if he and John have healed this man, and he tells the people that God has glorified Jesus, the crucified Jesus. Jesus has risen from the dead, and the name of Jesus has made this formerly lame man strong. Then he tells the people that he knows they acted in ignorance. He calls upon them to repent and turn to God. All of this is happening shortly after Pentecost. The apostles are preaching and teaching about the healing and reconciling power of the risen Christ.

The epistle, from the First Letter of John, is the last writing in chronological order. Scholars tell us that it was probably written around 70 years after the death and resurrection of Christ by a disciple of John who was part of a community founded by John. “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God, and that is what we are.” Our passage today is about the central theme of the good news—love.  

Our readings today offer a reflection of our own spiritual journeys. We question; sometimes we doubt; Jesus walks with us and teaches us; suddenly we realize that he is alive and here to lead us and guide us along the way.

In these three readings, we follow the journey of his original community of disciples. They were understandably horrified by the crucifixion. Many of them lost hope. He walked through walls of fear and oppression to be with them. They realized he had risen, and they spread that good news all around the Mediterranean Basin in a very short time, given that they had no modern modes of transportation or communication.

Every Sunday in this Easter season we will be reflecting on the fact that Jesus has risen and is here with us. How do we sense the presence of our risen Lord? How do we sense the power of his healing Spirit? How do we feel him leading us as a good shepherd leads the flock or guides a lost sheep back to the fold?

When hope seems gone, do we ever feel a loving presence reassuring us that there is hope, that hope is real, that good things can be achieved no matter how many challenges lie ahead? When we are sad and grieving, almost paralyzed by a huge loss, do we ever feel him there, standing beside us, letting us know we are not alone?

In this time of pandemic, Lord, thank you for holding us together, reminding us that “This, too, shall pass,” that we are not alone, that you are in our midst, leading and guiding us. Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! Amen.

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