Sunday was the Third Sunday after the Epiphany. The Old Testament Lesson was Nehemiah 8: 1-3, 5-6, 8-10. Ezra brought out a scroll of the Torah and read words of hope to a defeated, beaten, subjected, hungry people. The words of hope were not only welcomed but vitally necessary. When Ezra finished he stepped down from the makeshift pulpit and walked among the people carrying the scroll. The people reached out to touch the Holy Book of Israel and no longer felt as hopeless. No, their multitude of problems still existed but they were once again given hope.
In today’s Gospel Lesson from Luke 4: 14-21 we see Jesus reading from the holy scroll that contained the words of the prophet Isaiah. It too was a hopeful message heard by Jesus’ friends and neighbors. We know that Jesus’ message wasn’t always accepted with joy by his neighbors but on that Sabbath Day so long ago the people were impressed by the young Rabbi’s words.
Our crowd was not great but we had a really good Sunday school Lesson from the Gospel of John. Our lesson was about the first of many signs that pointed to Jesus’ special nature. We see Jesus performing a miracle—a sign as he changes water into wine at the Wedding at Cana. Joe and Hilda worked together to bring us our music. Ms. Lillie has a birthday this week so we sang “Happy Birthday” to her even though she is in Houston. Maybe she felt a warming of the heart. We sure miss Lillie and one Sunday soon we know that Lillie, Liz, and Mike will venture to the wilds of East Texas. We all wondered how Carolyn is dealing with all the snow. She is visiting her sister and other family in Pennsylvania.
This Thursday will be our ministry to Lakeside Assisted Living. Hilda said we had a good number of volunteers at Holiday last Tuesday. She thought that Pastor Matt was going to be able to join the volunteers. This month is almost over. We have been collecting cans of tuna this month but in February we will be collecting rice and dried beans for Community Christian Services.
“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 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!