November 15, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Sunday was the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time. Next Sunday, Christ the King or The Reign of Christ Sunday, is the last on the Christian calendar. After that, we begin the first six weeks of the new liturgical year with Advent, literally meaning “important arrival,” as we await the birth of Christ on Christmas.
We have had some cool mornings, but for the most part our afternoons have been above average, temperature-wise. I am going to pick lemons and limes next week and then move my citrus trees inside the greenhouse. I keep putting it off as if I can magically slow down winter’s progress by ignoring the calendar.
Our Sunday School lesson focused on such a long scripture that if we read it all, we wouldn’t have had time to discuss the lesson. The heart of it was the importance of a shared common meal and a shared common humanity. I am pretty sure I have never studied these verses from 1 Samuel 25: 2-39. Nabal has made a mess of his relationship with David, the powerful pretender to the throne. The conflict is all due to hospitality not shown. The hero of this story is Nabal’s wife Abigail, who rides out to meet David and his soldiers—showing proper respect and explaining what a fool her husband is. David accepts her words, and peace is maintained.
The Old Testament lesson came from chapters 3 and 4 of Ruth. My sermon was called Dubious Beginnings II, as I tied in last week’s Old Testament lesson to today’s. Along with that, I puzzled through why the writers and editors of the Jewish Testament decided to keep the more questionable stories alongside their sacred accounts.
We honored Fanny J. Crosby today by singing two of her most popular hymns, “To God Be the Glory” and “Rescue the Perishing.” Even not considering her blindness, Ms. Crosby was an amazing talent. We want to wish happy November birthdays to Larry and Hilda, both later this month. Also, Theresa and Larry celebrate their anniversary tomorrow. Happy anniversary!
We are collecting rice and beans all month to donate to Community Christian Services. For the Kids’ Christmas part of CCS, we sent church and personal checks; in addition, last week Sue and I got outfits, shoes, and gifts for the two kids we “adopted.” My wife has been concerned about supply chain disruptions and is almost finished with all our Christmas shopping—just in case.
I mailed off the required reports and budget to the District Office. Our Church Conference with the District Superintendent is Saturday at 2:00. Sue put together some pandemic-safe pre-packaged snacks and bottled water. We always enjoy the time we have with Dr. White, but we also know how busy he is holding conferences for every church in the East District—and maybe hungry or thirsty besides!
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 email@example.com. 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.