January 10, 2017 - Last Friday, January 6th was the Day of the Epiphany. So Sunday Paxton Methodist celebrated the arrival of the Magi. Next Sunday we will celebrate the baptism of Jesus. The Gospel Lesson was Matthew 2: 1-12. The magi follow the star and bring gifts to the child. The Matthew Gospel doesn’t tell us how many magi there were or when they actually arrived at Bethlehem. Again we need to remember that Matthew is not really concerned with how something happened but was very interested in proclaiming the Good News. We know that the Matthew Gospel is the most Jewish of the four Conical Gospels; the arrival of these foreigners is Matthew’s telling the world that the Good News of Jesus is not confined to the Jews but for all who are searching for meaning in their lives.
In reading this wonderful story of the wise men who have become an important part of our Christmas story, I recalled the story of a North American Indian shaman who is teaching the young boys of his tribe. He is telling their lore and about the Great Spirit. Some of the stories were so fanciful that one young student asked, “Grandfather, did it really happen like that?” The shaman replied, “I don’t know if it happened just like that, but I know it is true.”
It was cold Sunday morning, but Ms. Fannie had the heaters on and it was very comfortable. Our Sunday school lessons have come from the Psalms and especially those hymns that celebrate creation. Psalm 96 is a call to worship God for His beauty and justice. These two words are not always used together, but in the spiritual scheme of things they are inseparable Fannie had us think of those things in the sanctuary and in creation that are the “good stuff.”
This past Monday volunteers went to Green Acres Nursing Center to visit with our friends there. We are always given such a warm welcome and have many volunteers who came to sing and tell stories. We enjoyed having our newest volunteer, Laura. Ms. Hilda does such a wonderful job of not only organizing these ministries but then visiting individuals in the nursing home during the month.
Last weekend my brother Kent and sister-in-law Mary came for a visit. We had Christmas again as we exchanged gifts. It was so cold last weekend that we spent our time inside watching TV—mostly football. We had chili for both lunch and supper. They came to Paxton Methodist for Sunday morning worship and met the wonderful folks of our congregation. After church we headed to Nacogdoches to visit Sue’s family. Sue’s brother Jimmie and his wife Myrna came up from Houston and we met for lunch and to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 89th birthday. My sister-in-law Mary presented Myrna with a Loose Connections shirt, commemorating her inclusion into this family where not everyone is really related but all are welcomed.
“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!