May 21, 2018 - Sunday was the Day of Pentecost, which is seen as the birth of the church. This Sunday we celebrate wind and fire and the excitement of something new. But Pentecost is not really a new celebration. It was the Festival of Weeks in the Jewish faith that commemorated the harvest and later the Torah. But for us Followers of the Way, it is when the Spirit of God infused the Jesus Community, giving birth to a new way of seeing.
Last week was warm for May and gave us just a taste of what a hot, humid, summer day is like in East Texas. All this month we have been collecting cans of fruit to take to Community Christian Services. Friday night was graduation in Joaquin. Joaquin had a big graduating class this year, and I know there are many proud parents and grandparents. One of my students who then taught in Joaquin is retiring this year. Mark Lawrence is retiring but his son Chad is coming home to Joaquin to teach and coach. Congratulations, Mark, on your many years of service to your school.
Our Sunday school lesson focused on the old idea of a Jubilee Year. The scripture from Leviticus told how they came up with the timing for the special year every fifty years. The idea was to set things right—or to return to the way they were when God gave the Israelites their land. Much of the lesson spoke of the importance of cleaning the slate and starting anew, which is certainly a theme found in both Old and New Testaments.
Last week was our program at Holiday Nursing Home. They were readying for a fifties-themed celebration right afterward, so we stopped a little short of 3PM. But we had a good time while we were there. Mrs. Hilda was lively on the piano, and we sang mostly spirited hymns to keep up with her. Mrs. Fannie read about God making mothers—sweet and sometimes bittersweet. It was wonderful to have Pastor Matt back among us; he talked of his upcoming graduation from Perkins at SMU—not really looking forward to the ceremony, but certainly pleased about being finished. Nora sang a couple of her beautiful songs, inviting us to accompany her. (I always hum or sing quietly so I can still hear her.) It was Jo’s birthday and also another of her and Nora’s sisters; they were headed after the program for a sisters’ day out. Because it was a shorter program, Sue didn’t read to the folks, but she kept us moving along as emcee. I closed us out with prayer and our usual hymn, “God Be with You ‘Til We Meet Again.”
“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. Godspeed.