July 5, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Today is Independence Day, and many Americans are on the move after 14 months of being cooped up. I hope everyone has a joyful, thoughtful, and safe Fourth of July. And if you haven’t gotten your Covid vaccine, by all means get it done. It is your patriotic duty!
Our music this morning included responses to our affirmation and God’s generosity as we sang the Gloria Patri and the Doxology. Our two hymns were the patriotic songs, “America” and “America the Beautiful.” It is helpful to our small congregation if we already know the songs at least somewhat. Being lifetime Americans, we really know these!
Our Sunday School lesson looked at several Proverbs but not really ones I was familiar with: We read and puzzled over the sayings presented. The lesson author said part of what makes Proverbs so wise is taking into account the context in which the advice is being offered. The Proverbs do speak to the danger in being “involved” with others—but despite such a risk, God created us for communion and community.
We celebrated Communion this morning. Not only was it the 4th of July, it was also the first Sunday of the month. I’d thought we might use the hymn “Let Us Break Bread Together,” but its difficulty and unfamiliarity ruled against it.
I used the Gospel lesson, Mark 6: 1-4, as the text for my sermon. Jesus had a successful tour of the Galilee and headed home to Nazareth. He had been disappointed that religious leaders felt threatened by him, and he would soon be just as disappointed in the hometown crowd’s reaction. Jesus, now a traveling rabbi, was asked to lead services at the local synagogue: The folks who heard him were impressed with his knowledge of the law and his wisdom. But they just couldn’t get over the fact that Jesus was a homegrown boy who might be thinking he was too important for them. There was also some jealousy involved at his area-wide success. Sounds like us modern-day folks, doesn’t it?
I loaded up the truck last Wednesday and headed to Haslam Baptist Church to drop off the toilet paper and paper towels we collected during June. They were busy that morning as usual but helped me unload. During July we will collect spaghetti and ravioli; August’s “Undie Sundays” are also coming up quickly.
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, and Open Minds.” 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 your email address to the Paxton email address, and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed.