Happenings at Paxton United Methodist Church, Jul 12th

July 12, 2016 - Sunday was the 8th Sunday after Pentecost.  The Gospel story is one of the best known of Jesus’ parables: The parable of the Good Samaritan is not found in any of the canonical Gospels except Luke.  The story is well known but is also truly revolutionary.  If Jesus only wanted to speak of healing and help, he would have made the wounded man the Samaritan.  But no, the Good Samaritan is the one whose heart went out the wounded man and made sure he was taken care of.  Whoever was reading this story in the early Jesus communities would have to say the hated word, Samaritan, a person the Jews considered the lowest of the low.  This person was the good neighbor—he was the one who was moved to mercy.  There is no doubt in Jesus’ story that everyone is welcome into the Kingdom of God. 

The Sunday school lesson used the 3rd chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans, in which Paul sounded like an Old Testament prophet.  The divide between followers on the role of the Jewish law was very much in evidence in today’s reading.  So much of Paul’s letters deal with this divide that we know it must have been a major early stumbling block in forming Jesus communities of both Jew and Gentile.  Fannie had us really thinking about some of the difficult passages.  We are burdened by not really understanding the time and place of those first century Christians. 

We had a good crowd for Paxton Sunday morning.  Joe and Hilda teamed up to bring our music this morning.  Sue has a birthday this week, and Sue and I also celebrate our 42nd anniversary.  That is hard to understand until I get up in the morning and look in the mirror.  I can’t quite figure out who the old man staring at me is!   

I hope everyone had a nice July 4th celebration with family, good food, and fireworks.  Every time the fireworks went off, our canine fireworks started up.  Abner would start barking and the two smaller dogs, wanting to be like Abner, joined in the barking marathon.  Sue and I had a nice quiet day except for our dogs.  After being gone for most of the month of June, it was nice to be back home.    
“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 paxtonumc@yahoo.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!