June 15, 2020 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost. In some Christian traditions, we are entering Ordinary Time. The great religious days and festivals are behind us, and we are enjoying sunshine and warmer temperatures. These last few days have been nice—lower humidity really does make a difference. Today was also Flag Day. This special patriotic day, a symbol of freedom and our national identity, is always June 14. It is a reminder of the courage and determination needed to measure up to the high ideals of the Declaration of Independence.
We are still living with Covid-19. The number of cases is really spiking in Texas: We all need to be careful and follow the guidelines set out by the CDC and the White House. Over the last few weeks, we haven’t heard from the Coronavirus Task Force; the death of George Floyd, along with the protests that followed, have overshadowed the pandemic. But it is still here, and we need to be cautious.
Our new Sunday School material for summer has so far been focused on Old Testament stories. Today’s was the contest between the great Jewish prophet Elijah and the priests of Baal. Mrs. Fannie had a really good lesson for us, making us think about current events and lessons that could be taken from this ancient story. Our author said Elijah was trying to bring about a spiritual restoration for a people who had lost their way. We are told to embrace the reality of a living God in the “now” of life.
I used Matthew 9: 35-36 as the scripture text for my sermon. In these two verses, Matthew tells us that Jesus traveled to the cities and villages of the Galilee and taught in many Synagogues. At each stop he proclaimed the good news of the coming of the Kingdom. The scripture says that Jesus looked upon the crowds and had compassion for them. He knew how oppressed they were. They were troubled and felt directionless. How amazing it must have been for these people to hear Jesus call them blessed and tell them the Kingdom of God was as close as their next breath!
Our ministry to the area nursing homes and assisted living centers is still on hold. We sure hope our friends at these centers remain safe and healthy. During the month of June, Paxton Methodist is collecting toilet paper and paper towels for Community Christian Services. Along with our usual monthly donations of products and individual checks, the church voted to send $300 to CCS, which has had more calls on its services because of the pandemic.
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.