Happenings at United Paxton Methodist Church, Oct 3rd

October 3, 2016 - Sunday was the 20th Sunday after Pentecost and the first Sunday in October. At Paxton we celebrated communion using the liturgy called “Table of Plenty.” Sunday was World Communion Sunday: The idea of a billion or more Christians celebrating communion Sunday morning is cool! During the month of October we will be collecting peanut butter and jelly for Community Christian Services. For my sermon I used the Old Testament Lesson from Lamentations 1: 1-6 and the Epistle Lesson from 2 Timothy 1: 3-14. Lamentations is made up of five lyric poems that bemoan the destruction of Jerusalem and all that the Jews knew about life. The poet speaks of groaning, weeping, and the inability to be comforted. Paul praises Timothy for his “honest and rich” faith that had been handed down from his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Paul speaks of death defeated and life vindicated in the steady blaze of light that is the Christ. 

No one likes suffering. Unfortunately, it is part of our human condition. We believe that humans have a soul—a spark of the divine within us—but the trade-off is that we live in the shadow of death. This reality becomes even more real as we age, with more aches and pains and the truth of our mortality. But Paul speaks of a different suffering: for the cause—to promote the Kingdom here on earth that Jesus envisioned.

Our Sunday school lesson was from Hebrews 1 and spoke so poetically about Jesus being the “light of God’s glory and the imprint of God’s being.” I have really enjoyed this writer’s way of seeing and explaining scripture in a new, expanded way. 

When he speaks of hearing God’s voice in all of creation, he enables me to see the sacred in the ordinary as well as extraordinary times of life. He talks of renewing the ancient spiritual practice of contemplation, which used to be a major part of our faith but isn’t stressed much today. 

I spent a good part of this week in Dallas, having quality time with my kids. Megan showed us her new home now that all the renovations are completed—but she is still waiting for that final inspection. My brother and sister-in-law had driven to North Dakota for our Aunt Phyllis’ funeral. Her husband Art was the only one of the ten siblings who stayed in North Dakota to farm. All my city cousins and I loved to go for family get-togethers on the old family farm.

On Monday the crew will head to Green Acres for our monthly ministry. However, I will be in Nacogdoches having cataract surgery. I am so ready to be able to see well again. I have three other doctors’ appointments later in the week. I always thought that when I retired I would do some traveling but didn’t realize most of the traveling would be to doctors’ offices. 

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 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!