August 29, 2016 - Sunday was the 15th Sunday after Pentecost. It was a rainy evening Saturday: At the Smith house we collected about an inch and a half. This is one of the wettest Augusts that I can remember. I used as my scripture verses from Jeremiah 2 and Luke 14. Jeremiah and God are talking; God feels abandoned by his special people. He wonders to his prophet if he wronged them—have the chosen forgotten all God had done for the ancestors. In these passages are wonderful images of the Sacred as Jeremiah speaks of living water—flowing water. This he compares to the broken wells built by people that cannot even hold water. God is not happy about his chosen people whom he believes must have forgotten all about him.
The Gospel for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost comes from Luke 14, telling the story of when Jesus went to dinner at a leading Pharisee’s home. One writer says that the author of the Luke Gospel is preoccupied with eating. But I would think that a traveling rabbi who depended on the goodness of strangers would seldom turn down a free meal. In these two scriptures come two important theological ideas—springs of living water and the table. Living water and the bread of life given at the table are the cornerstones of the two sacraments of Protestant Christians—baptism and communion.
We had a nice crowd at Paxton this morning. My son Jacob is in for a visit and came with Sue for church. I talk about my two kids quite often, but many of the folks have never met them. In answer to the plea from our bishop, several folks are giving to United Methodist Relief to assist the flood victims in Louisiana. The church also voted to send $500 from Paxton Methodist.
Last week was our ministry to Lakeside Assisted Living. I was at yet another doctor’s appointment (the bane of getting older), but I heard reports of a lively program. Clarissa, Hannah, and Josiah Menefee performed on piano, violin, psaltery, and mandolin—toe-tapping music ranging from religious to bluegrass. Other music included Nora “singing a book,” Joyce Hughes doing a piano solo, and her granddaughter Tori Windham presenting several specials and leading congregational singing. Ollie shared a letter she’d received recounting “angels among us,” Fannie offered some of her thought-provoking points, and Sue read “Amigos Forever,” a picture book Hilda bought for that purpose. So nice also to have Sylvia with us, feeling better, and in lovely voice.
“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!