June 7, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Today was the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost. This Sunday is sandwiched between two family holidays—Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. And yet the Gospel lesson for today deals with conflict in the family. Today was also D-Day. That date will always be remembered by people of my parent’s generation—just like later generations remember when President Kennedy was killed and when the twin towers came down.
Last week our internet went out, and we could only establish WiFi for a few minutes before it sputtered out: We would have to unplug and reboot over and over. This went on all last week, but on Saturday morning everything started working. We have been expecting it to go out each time we sit down at computer or phone, but so far Sue and I are connected. Maybe there was a little Divine intervention!
We got new Sunday School literature for the summer quarter. The first lesson was about Joseph and the trouble with his brothers. This seemed to mirror the Gospel lesson for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, with the dispute that developed in Jesus’ biological family and with his family of faith. Conflict rears its ugly head, and sometimes it becomes really hard to tamp down the growing problem.
Since we resumed in-person worship, our music had been on CD. And we are reminded yet again how much we miss Hilda being here. Last week I worked on the sound system at church, and I think we are ready for music and singing. Sue is operating the CD player and putting our songs together during worship. She did this at the Joaquin church when we didn’t have a piano player. Today we sang “Amazing Grace,” starting with an easy one! Later we listened to Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light,” one of my all-time favorites. Maybe next week we’ll sing two songs, going for the gold!
The first Sunday of each month, we celebrate a Service of Communion and Remembrance. Pandemic Communion was disposable cups and Ziploc bags in the pews. But today, people could kneel or stand at the altar; if instead they wanted to remain in their seats, I would bring Communion to them. Another little bit of normalcy.
The Gospel lesson was from Mark 3: 20-35, where we see Jesus and his followers just returning from the success of their first tour of the Galilee. But what appeared to the Pharisees as Jesus and his disciples ignoring the Sabbath would cause all kinds of trouble. It is the only place in the New Testament where the writer said Jesus became angry. But his anger didn’t turn to hatred—he still had compassion, even for the Pharisees.
In June we will collect paper towels and toilet paper for Community Christian Services. Last Wednesday I took the cans of fruit, as well as some checks from the church folks, to First Baptist Haslam. They had a large, steady crowd receiving food supplies. It’s always inspiring to see them at work for the Kingdom of God.
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.