August 12, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother, Jesus. Today is August 12th which happens to be my birthday. Sometimes I am frightened when I look in the mirror and wonder who the old man is looking back at me! Oh well, time marches on. We are certainly in the dog days of summer. Our two dogs, Gunter and Sam, are like me in that they don’t want to spend too long outside. We get up in the morning and do our walking in the park; when we get back we work in the yard and garden for about twenty minutes at a time. I sure appreciate my air conditioning and never complain about the cost, which is worth every penny.
The scripture for our Sunday school lesson was the wonderful story of Ruth and Naomi. This story is about covenant. This special bond between Ruth and Naomi is the type of bond we need to develop with God and each other. When we think of covenant we think of a contract but on a deeper—more spiritual—level. I think of the covenant of marriage: a contract but also much more. Naomi and Ruth were thrown together by difficult circumstances and yet their love for each other grew and sustained them.
We are in the midst of Ordinary Time on the church calendar. I used the Old Testament Lesson from the first chapter of Isaiah, the largest prophetic book in the Hebrew Scriptures. We Christians are very fond of this book; when Isaiah talks about a suffering servant and a messiah, we think of Jesus. Like the other prophets in the Hebrew Testament, Isaiah sees bad things on the horizon but the possibility of redemption. This first oracle of Isaiah sees God bringing a lawsuit against his people for breaking the covenant they had made with him. He compares Judah and Jerusalem to Sodom and Gomorrah. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is that they turned their backs on the needy. They no longer cared for the poor, the orphans, or the widows. The priest, the king, and his court all are responsible for this failure.
During the month of August we are collecting children’s socks and underwear for Community Christian Services. Early on, Gayle and Joaquin Christian Services set up a Sunday in August before the start of school to collect socks and underwear. She called it “Undie Sunday,” part of her effort to get new clothes and school supplies for students in our area. Later this month we will be visiting Holiday Nursing Center and Lakeside Assisted Living. We have monthly programs in area nursing homes: People from many communities and many churches come to sing, visit, and share stories.
Our worship time is 10:00 AM; we would love to have you come to worship with us. I know how very busy everyone is: Our early meeting time enables you to move on to family get-togethers or jobs afterward. Not to mention naps, which my wife says are best on Sunday afternoon. 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. God’s Speed.