June 25, 2018 - Sunday was the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time. It is hard to believe that 2018 is almost half done! June 21st was the official beginning of summer, but I think we have gotten a head start in the summer heat department. A couple of the regulars were out this morning, so our numbers were pretty slim. But we had a great Sunday school lesson and our time in worship was well spent. I had been under the weather for most of the week and didn’t finish my sermon until late Saturday night. Not one to procrastinate, I was pretty uncomfortable with my late finish.
Our Sunday School lesson was called “Reaping God’s Justice.” The scripture for the lesson was Luke 16: 19-31, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. This story that Jesus tells makes a strong contrast between God’s idea of justice and ours. Fannie always prepares an interesting lesson and makes us think. My thoughts this week were uncomfortable because I know I have committed many sins of omission and could have done better. Joe brought up Warren Buffet and Bill Gates who are very rich but have put back billions into the community and the world. We decided that rich or poor, we are all required by God to care for our fellow human beings.
Sue always begins our worship together by leading us in the Gathering Words and our Affirmation of Faith, which this week was The Apostles’ Creed—traditional version. She also read the main scripture for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Old Testament Lesson was 1 Samuel 17: 32-49. It was a long passage but one familiar to all of us. In the scripture we see David facing off with Goliath. Goliath was an overwhelming problem for the Israelites but David, trusting in God, slew the giant and a great victory was won. The Gospel Lesson also dealt with an overwhelming problem. The Gospel, Mark 4: 35-41, finds Jesus and his disciples on a boat going to the faraway shore to escape the crowds. As often happens, a bad storm comes and the disciples know they are going to drown. During all the wind and rain, Jesus remains asleep. The disciples wake him and ask if he cares whether they drown or not. Jesus tells the winds and rain to be still and then questions the faith of his disciples. The disciples are of course awestruck that the winds and rain obey Jesus.
Hilda and Joe teamed up this morning and sang a special for us that we all appreciated.
After our worship service we loaded up the toilet paper and paper towels that we have been collecting this month to take to Community Christian Services in Joaquin this week. Next month we will be collecting cans of ravioli and spaghetti. Next Sunday will be July 1st. We celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month, and we have an open table, meaning all are welcome.
We will be heading to Lakeside Assisted Living on Thursday at 2:00 for our monthly singing. Last week was our program at Holiday Nursing Home. Mrs. Hilda skillfully tinkled the ivories for our congregational singing and also a brief solo of her own. Stellar Walker, accompanying herself on guitar, sang many old favorites—including warming up the crowd beforehand. Pastor Matt opened the program with one of his thoughtful, new-eyed looks at Scripture, this one about Solomon. Sue linked his story to the Greek mythological one about Paris, Helen of Troy, and the start of the war between Greece and Troy.
Mrs. Fannie kept it going by talking about her classes studying Greek myths and then reading a piece for us. Sue read a children’s book from Desoto Parish Library, Footloose by Kenny Loggins. I closed us out with our traditional final song, “God Be with You Till We Meet Again” and a benediction.
“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 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. Godspeed.