August 21, 2017 - Sunday was the 11th Sunday after Pentecost. The Gospel Lesson came from Matthew 15:21-28. It is one of the most difficult passages because it doesn’t show Jesus in a favorable light. Jesus spurns the Canaanite women and refuses to help her daughter. He questions why he should feed the dogs and ignore the children of Israel. This woman, who calls Jesus the Messiah, says that even dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table. Once again we see Jesus “grow in wisdom,” and it becomes more and more clear that the ways of the Christ—the Messiah—are not only for Jews but for anyone who wants a closeness with God. Jesus assures the woman that her daughter is healed.
Often my sermon seems to build upon the fine Sunday school lesson that Fannie has put together. I don’t read the lesson before I finish my sermon, so it’s not that I am trying to tie my sermon to the lesson. Today’s Sunday school scripture comes from Acts: 9:10-20. Paul has been struck blind. This enemy of the Jesus movement has had a vision and becomes one of the greatest apostles of the Jesus movement. As we have seen all quarter, God often picks unlikely people to be his prophet—his spokesman—in a way, like the Canaanite woman.
All this month our church is collecting children’s underwear and socks for Community Christian Services. Next month it will be boxes of “mac and cheese.” Most Texas school children head off to school Monday. Our own Ms. Vera starts a new school year, and her friends at Paxton wish her a great year. Liz begins working at Center ISD, and we hope that she also has a great school year! Last week was our ministry at Holiday Nursing Center. Sue found a really cute picture book to read about the goat that seemed to curse the Chicago Cubs for so many years. Fannie read “And God Said ‘No’ (and later, ‘Yes’). Nora sang a beautiful but lesser-known hymn, and Ms. Minnie played for the congregational singing. Ms. Hilda said they had a good group of volunteers and residents, including some new ones. This Thursday we go to Lakeside Village Assisted Living at our regular time of 2PM.
I have spent much of the last two weeks in Dallas. My brother had a lung transplant and is coming along nicely. He is breathing on his own! The doctors are looking to this Thursday as the day he will get to go home. Our yearly conference with the District Superintendent has been set for October 2nd at 6:00. Having these “Charge Conferences” is a Methodist thing, but I imagine most denominations have something similar. Just like when I was in the school system, you have to be accountable.
“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.