August 1, 2016 - Sunday was the 11th Sunday after Pentecost. The Gospel Lesson for this Sunday was the Matthew version of the Lord’s Prayer. For over fifteen hundred years the church fathers have established a three-year outline of the scriptures to be used on each Sunday. There is usually a reading from the Old Testament, a reading from the Psalms, a reading from one of the New Testament letters, and a reading from one of the Gospels. I saw in the paper that Dr Welborn, my mentor when I began to explore the ministry, is coming to Center Methodist to help them celebrate their 150 years of service and ministry. He was such a great help and teacher. He urged me to preach the lectionary as I started out in ministry to make sure all areas of the two testaments and all the major themes were covered. I have been a lectionary preacher for eighteen years, but from time to time I do wander off the reservation.
Our Sunday school lesson from Romans 6 dealt with one of the defining mysteries of our faith: As “Hymn of Promise” says, “In our death, a resurrection.” Paul speaks of the joys of eternal life. I think we sometimes fail to realize that “eternity” for a Christian doesn’t come at death but at the moment we “put on Christ.” We can experience the joys of the Kingdom right now—in our up-and- down human living. We all appreciate Fannie’s work preparing our lesson—all the extras she adds make our time really uplifting.
My sermon last week and again this Sunday focused on the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer is found in the Matthew and Luke gospels, taught by Rabbi Jesus in two different settings. Also, the prayer differs somewhat in each version. A meaningful prayer life has been a stumbling block in my spiritual life; I so admire those who pray with such ease and confidence. William McGill said, “The value of persistent prayer is not that He will hear us but that we will finally hear Him.” So I pray with confusion but also hope.
I want to wish Mike McCoy a happy birthday. We always enjoy when Mike, Liz, and Lillie head up to East Texas to worship with us. So Mike, if you heard a slightly off-key angelic choir singing “Happy Birthday,” it was your friends at Paxton! Our attendance this year has been up, and this was the first Sunday in quite awhile we were not in double digits. That doesn’t sound all that great to most, but we get excited when we are in those magic double numbers!
This past Thursday volunteers met at Lakeside Assisted Living at 2:00 for our monthly ministry. My loyal wife went and reported back that everyone had a great time. Joyce Hughes and her family performed along with so many of the regulars who so faithfully serve. It’s nice that Maggie and Gene were feeling good enough to attend—especially since Maggie got drafted into the emcee job. I am hobbling on a broken foot and feeling sorry for myself. The doctors and I are hoping that my broken bone will heal by itself if I stay off it, keeping it wrapped and propped up. I will go back in three weeks to see if I will require surgery.
Monday, August 1st will be our ministry at Green Acres. We will meet at 2:00. During the month of August we will collect children’s socks and underwear from Community Christian Services. Next Sunday we will celebrate Holy Communion.
“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!