January 2, 2017 - Sunday was the First Sunday after Christmas and, of course, New Year’s Day! Happy New Year! I hope that the New Year will bring you joy and fulfillment. On this Sunday the Psalter Lesson was Psalm 148. The Psalms are the Jewish people’s hymnbook (but we just recited—no singing). Hymn 148 is an exuberant song of praise sung by the entire universe. The Gospel Lesson has Joseph once again receiving a vision in a dream, in which he is told to take his family to safety as mad King Herod was on the loose. These two scriptures deal with the paradox of faith. We go from the world shouting out with joy to the story of human depravity found in Matthew 2:13-23.
Psalm 148’s song of praise does not spring from a delusion that the world is fine but from the human capacity for joy. The Irish monks and mystics of the 7th Century had a practice of “listening for the heartbeat of God”—NOT listening to the heartbeat but listening for it concealed within all that is around us. Listening for the heartbeat of God is certainly a good practice for us this New Year!
Ms. Fannie had a great lesson today and encouraged everyone to take time this New Year to notice all the beauty around us. The scripture lesson for today was Psalm 33:1-9, a hymn of celebration of God’s creative power and his steadfastness. One of the reasons for worship is to praise God for all his creation.
We were in double digits again this Sunday! It was great to have Laura and Joe worship with us again. It was wonderful to see Carolyn after a long absence—she has been in Pennsylvania since October. Joy and Gene are back from Christmas with their family in Houston, and Joe Fielder said he had a good visit with Ben and his family. All the Paxton folks sure appreciate Hilda and Joe for bringing us our music each Sunday.
Our next nursing home program is scheduled for Monday, January 2, at 2PM at Green Acres.
We’re expecting rain, but maybe we can slosh through the puddles for this mission of ours. And speaking of weather, they’re even predicting snow for Friday! This week we might be experiencing all the seasons in a matter of days.
“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!