September 11, 2017 - Sunday was the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time. The Old Testament Lesson from Exodus Chapter 12 combined a story of death and destruction with a story of hope and liberation. Needless to say, I prefer the hope and liberation story. The last of the plagues has God killing every Egyptian first-born—human and animal. The birth of the Passover story is the hope and liberation part. The Jews are to be ready to leave and to paint their doorframes with lamb’s blood. This narrative becomes the glue that holds the Jewish people together for generations as they are exiled, seeing their homeland destroyed time and time again. This shared memory among the Jews is also a shared memory for us. The Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples, our Communion, is a Passover meal.
There certainly has been devastation and the threat of more damage as I am writing my article. I came across a hymn, “The Storm Came to Honduras,” that had been written after a terrible flood there. It definitely speaks to those who have suffered unbelievable flooding from Harvey:
O God, that great flood has stunned us one and all
Our neighbors reel in anguish while homes and cities fall.
O God of wind and water who made the sea and sky
Amid such destruction, we mournfully ask “Why?”
Our Sunday school lesson also dealt with covenant practices, coming from Genesis 17. We are to be a covenant people who are bonded to God and to each other. Our faith is not an individual pursuit but is a community endeavor held together by covenant. Fannie did a great job dealing with a difficult topic. We discussed our Charge Conference (it’s a Methodist thing) and Fannie agreed to do our report to our District Superintendent. I am going to start filling out the reports so we can get signatures, everything filled out in triplicate, and enter all the information at the Conference Office via the Internet. What would John Wesley think? I actually think Wesley would be fascinated!
Joe and Hilda selected some of our old favorite hymns to sing and though we are small in number we could really belt them out! Joe’s 90th birthday is this week, so we sang him “Happy Birthday.” Thursday we go to Focused Care (also known as Green Acres) for our monthly ministry. The program will begin at 10:15. In the month of September we are collecting macaroni and cheese for Community Christian Services. Gene, our treasurer, sent $500 to the Salvation Army for Hurricane Harvey Relief. We have also given two scholarships to two wonderful young people.
“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 email@example.com. 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.