February 5, 2018 - Sunday was the 5th Sunday after Epiphany. Last Friday Sue and I went to the Ram Café for breakfast: We saw Roy, Slow, Charlie, and Doug. When I got back home I bundled up and took the three dogs to the park. Abner, Gunter, and Stella always have a great time. Abner and I have walked in the park almost every morning for eleven years. Abner has inoperable cancer and has really slowed down. But if he sees a squirrel, that squirrel better watch out! Friday morning it was breezy and there was a chill in the air. I was happy to get back home.
Our Sunday school was really good. The reading from James reminded us that “faith without works is dead.” Martin Luther hated this book of the New Testament and said “it is a book of straw. ”Even though I was raised Lutheran, James is one of my favorite books. This being the first Sunday of the month, we celebrated Holy Communion. This month we will be collecting soap and shampoo for Community Christian Services. Because of all the flu and sickness, we have called off our ministry to Focused Care of Center this week. We are going to wait and see how things are later in the month before we decide about Holiday and Lakeside.
The scripture for my sermon came from Second Isaiah. Isaiah has 66 chapters and is really three books in one. The first 39 chapters are full of judgment and predictions of disaster. Chapters 40-55 contain consolation and hope for people who once again have found themselves exiles in a foreign country. This part of Isaiah is called The Book of Consolation of Judah. The last third of Isaiah was written for the exiles after they were allowed to return.
We had some good news to share today. Carolyn was back from Tyler with a better report on Guy Ross, who is now awaiting surgery next week. His granddaughter has been released from the hospital. And Fannie told us about granddaughter Carly’s wedding to Derek Cockrell.
We are fast approaching Lent—faster this year than last. In fact, this year Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day. Easter will be on April Fools Day. If I am ever elected pope I am going to pick a Sunday for Easter and give up the formula the ancient church fathers used—too complicated. I am not expecting to be elected, so I guess I will just go along with the same old, same old. The Eastern Orthodox Church uses a different formula for figuring out Easter and so even Christians don’t celebrate together.
“Whoever you are, in whatever faith you were born, whatever creed you profess; if you come to this house to find God you are welcome here.” Paxton United Methodist Church is an inviting church that takes to heart the idea of “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds.” Sunday School starts at 9:30 and Worship begins at 10:00. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like the weekly email newsletter about Paxton Methodist you can send me your email address to the Paxton email address and I will add you to the list. Godspeed.
Randy & Sue Smith
Paxton Methodist Church