December 14, 2015 - Sunday was the 3rd Sunday in Advent. All four lessons today speak of hope. Often as in our Old Testament reading from Zephaniah, this hope is built on pain. Zephaniah is very critical of those in power in ancient Israel and Judah . But as you move into the 3rd and last chapter, Zephaniah says to “Sing!” What is there to sing about? God is present and living with his people. He will not forget them. In our Epistle Lesson from Philippians, Paul is telling the people that they should celebrate God all day—every day. Instead of worrying, replace those worrying words with prayers. When we look at Paul’s life, we see that whether he is among friends or in prison, he is living in the Kingdom of God . The great theologian, Frederick Buechner, says that the Kingdom is not so much a place as it a condition—a condition of the heart and soul.
What a blustery, raining Sunday. Our crowd was slim this morning, but despite the weather outside we inside enjoyed our time together. It always amazes me that no matter where in the Bible our Sunday School lesson comes from, it ties to many ideas in the scriptures and sermon. Fannie did a great job with what is a difficult passage for us modern people to understand. Our main scripture came from Leviticus and dealt with what is a proper sacrifice.
Last week Ms. Hilda and Pastor Matt Cecil and others brought song and fellowship at Green Acres. Later in the week Hilda, Ollie, and I visited with the folks at Lakeside Assisted Living. We sang songs and told some stories and had a nice visit. This Tuesday we are heading to Holiday Nursing Center.
Our Christmas Program was really fun. We had a nice crowd, and we sang many of our favorite Christmas hymns and carols. It really is a community celebration, and it is always great to be with each other during this special time of year. The food was really good too!
During the month of December we are collecting cans and boxes of soup for Christian Services. On Monday, December 14th at 9:00 AM, volunteers will meet at Joaquin Methodist Fellowship Hall to begin sorting and putting into family boxes cans and nonperishable goods. On Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday, volunteers will wrap gifts for the children. Then on Friday, December 18th starting at 9:00, perishable goods will be sorted and family-sized boxes, bags, and gifts will be given out. Come help if you’re able—all are welcome, and everyone will receive a blessing.
“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 9:15 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!