November 4, 2019 - Grace and peace from our brother and savior, Jesus, Amen. Last Tuesday my puppies, Gunter and Sam, joined me in going to Haslam Baptist to see if Community Christian Services was open. They were open and busy, serving folks in our part of East Texas. I delivered the peanut butter and jelly that Paxton Methodists have been collecting during October. A young man (young being relative) came out to my truck to help me and asked if I remembered him. I did indeed—a fine young man who was a student at Joaquin when I was High School principal. He said that the other day he and another former student were driving on Highway 84: His friend said, “Is that Mr. Smith walking some dogs?” The answer was, “No—that’s some old man.” Well, it happens to the best of us if we hang around long enough!
Halloween morning was a cold walk in the park! Gunter and Sam didn’t seem to mind, but I made it through my laps quicker than usual. Sue was cooking for the Seniors, so we three stopped in to say hello at the Senior Center. The weather on TV said it was colder here than in Maine Thursday morning!
Friday morning was colder than Thursday morning, but the winds were calm so it didn’t feel as bad. Friday was All Saints Day, when Christians around the world remember the saints in their communities that have died in the past year, as well as all the saints who were so important in their lives.
Sunday was All Saints Sunday; the morning was cool but not as cold as the previous mornings. Our Sunday school lesson focus has shifted to “Objects of Worship.” The text for today’s lesson was Deuteronomy 5: 1-10 and 6: 1-9. The purpose of today’s lesson was “to understand what it means to love God.” We are reminded in the ancient text not to have any other gods above the God of creation—God of the universe. We were also told that God is often revealed to us in creation and that God’s faithfulness is as dependable as the cycle of day/night and springtime/harvest.
The Gospel Lesson for Sunday was Luke 9: 1-10, the story of Zacchaeus. My favorite Quaker minister, Philip Gulley, wrote an article in the Indianapolis paper that explained the cornerstone of the Quaker faith: seeing “God in all people.” Our Gospel story certainly reinforced that idea, as Jesus not only saw God in Zacchaeus but honored him by going to his house for a meal. Such an honor left many in Jericho speechless.
On Monday we head to Focused Care in Center for our monthly ministry. All month we will be collecting rice and beans for Community Christian Services. Next Sunday we will have a Gideon speaker at our church. Gideon International is one of the ministries that Paxton Methodist supports in prayer and financially.
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. God’s Speed.
Randy and Sue Smith/Paxton United Methodist Church