January 17, 2017 - Last week we celebrated the Epiphany, which put off to this Sunday the scriptures about the baptism of Jesus. All four of the canonical gospels have a baptism story, so we know how important this event is. Jesus comes to the Jordan, where John is urging people to be baptized and transformed. Jesus is baptized, which marks the beginning of his ministry.
Water is the most valuable resource—all living things need water to survive. Water is a source of life and has great importance in almost all world religions. The Hebrew Scriptures begin in Genesis speaking of water covering the face of the earth. Revelation in the Christian scriptures has a vision of water flowing from the throne of God.
Baptism joins us with God and a community of God. Stanley Hauerwas writes that we are called upon to be a community “capable of forming people with virtues sufficient to witness to God’s truth in the world.” Our baptism calls us into the Kingdom—a Kingdom of tolerance, love, and bravery. Our baptism is joined with Jesus’ and from that union living water must flow from our lives into the lives of all we meet.
The scripture for our Sunday school lesson continues to be the Psalms. Psalm 65 praises and blesses God for abundant grain and rain. The poet says that even the deserts drip with God’s goodness. All the little things that we often take for granted make life good. We often forget that.
We had a good crowd by Paxton standards. We have been in double digits every Sunday this year! Sam came with his grandmother, Mrs. Fannie: We at Paxton have enjoyed seeing Sam grow up, and now he is all grown up! He is getting ready for a new semester at Panola. Our End-of-Year Reports and other required paperwork were sent via the mail and the Internet. It is always nice to get this business completed so we can concentrate on the important things. I have a meeting with the District Superintendent next week in Lufkin.
This Tuesday we go to Holiday Nursing Home for our monthly program. A week from this Thursday, we head to Lakeside Village. Both programs begin at 2:00.
“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!