August 15, 2016 - Sunday was the 13th Sunday after Pentecost. In my sermon Sunday before last I returned to the Luke Gospel (Luke 12: 13-21.) Jesus and his disciples and other followers have made that fateful turn and are heading to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the ancestral home of Kings since David—the home of the newly built great Temple--the official regional capital of this region for the Roman Empire. Jesus’ parable is about the rich fool who builds more barns to keep the excess of some very good harvests. I think in our age of wealth and excess we would look at the rich man and think he was being prudent—not foolish. But Jesus sees in this man someone so wrapped up in things and stuff that he runs the risk of not seeing the Kingdom that is at hand. This past Sunday’s scripture was Colossians 1: 24-28. Once again the evangelist was dealing with turmoil within the local Jesus community. The stress was on developing and maturing in faith.
Our Sunday school scripture was Romans 9: 6-29 and certainly created many questions. Unfortunately, they looked to me for clarity which I simply could not give. It is a scripture that gives those who believe in predestination some fodder for their belief. Starting in verse 15 God says to Moses that he will show mercy to those he chooses. In the next verse Paul says, “So then, it doesn’t depend on a person’s desire or effort. It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy.” Many Protestants believe in what is called “two-fisted predestination.” This idea says that God has decided before he ever started creating those he will save and those he will condemn. Today’s Epistle Lesson was Colossians 1: 24-28 and these few verses also open up a can of worms.
The last two Sundays we were again in double digits. Lillie, Liz, and Mike were up from Houston this week and it is just like a burst of sunshine when they come in. We really miss seeing Lillie every Sunday and around town. Joe’s son Ben came with Joe this morning. I met Ben back in 1975, the year I started teaching at Joaquin. He had just graduated from high school and had started college. More recently, I saw him at his parents’ 50th anniversary celebration.
My Internet service was out most of last week; I didn’t get my article turned in and I didn’t send out a weekly email to the Paxton folks. I am still nursing my broken foot, but loyal folks headed to Green Acres. Sue said there were plenty of stories shared and songs to sing! Next Tuesday was scheduled to be our ministry to Holiday Nursing Center, but we are postponing it.
Saturday morning I got a call from Joe that Gloria had died. Mrs. Gloria was such a sweet lady. She will be missed by her Paxton Church friends, her friends and neighbors, and the many students that she taught over the years. Her funeral will be Tuesday at 1:00 at Mangum Funeral Chapel. Visitation will also be Tuesday, starting at 11:00. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe and his family.
“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!