October 5, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Sunday was the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. These past few days have been on and off rain. We really need the rain, as Shelby County is in a drought situation. That doesn’t seem possible because we had a milder summer with more rain than usual. But during those hot days of summer, it doesn’t take long to dry the soil out. Next week is supposed to be dry and mild. I was always told that when I got old I would talk about the weather a lot—and I sure do!
It was so nice to see Joy and Gene this morning. They have been in Scotland for the two plus weeks and reported to us that they had a great time. While on their trip, they sent us a card with a beautiful castle on the front. Joy and Gene are the church’s world travelers and love to go. The pandemic got in the way of the first plans they made: Even finally being able to go, they had to observe many Covid precautions—including multiple tests—during the trip. A few years ago, all this “new normal” stuff would’ve been unimaginable.
Mrs. Fannie had an excellent lesson for us at Sunday School. Gene read the lesson, from the second chapter of Acts. Peter tells his listeners that they must change their hearts and lives when they became Jesus followers. Our author said that the necessary attitude in becoming a Christian is humility. We got into a spirited discussion about the early followers giving everything they had to the church and using that to meet people’s needs. I will tell you—that and the story of the rich young ruler bother me plenty!
Our Hymn of Praise was “Jesus Loves Me,” which went along with the second part of the Gospel lesson about the children being brought to Jesus. Our Hymn of Joy, “This Is My Father’s World” fit the rest of the scripture. Both are old favorites for Paxton Methodist. Our Closing Hymn, as usual, was the first verse of “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.” Joe led our singing this morning, which we really appreciate.
I flubbed up our Order of Worship because it never crossed my mind (or my proofreader wife’s) that this was the first Sunday of the month, so…...communion. Yes, we wrote out, proofread, and corrected the bulletin, but the missing part never even registered. Needless to say, we will have communion next Sunday. Sorry, Paxton Church folks!
If you’re wondering, I did remember to prepare a sermon. As I did last Sunday I used all four of the scriptures for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We started of with the first part of Job, where Job isn’t upset that everything was taken away from him: Job’s anger was due to God seeming to turn away from him. Like we humans say, it was the principle of the thing!
The main part of my sermon came from Mark 10, where the Pharisees question Jesus about divorce. A quick look at that section claims that Jesus condemns divorce. But a longer look shows that Jesus never did tell the Pharisees his thoughts about divorce. Instead, Jesus focused on remarriage.
This Wednesday I will take boxed, bagged, and cupped macaroni and cheese and a couple of checks to Community Christian Services. These volunteers provide such needed services to our community, and we really appreciate all they do. During October we will collect peanut butter and jelly. Mac and cheese, PB&J...sounds like a child’s idea of the perfect meal!
We had a letter from First Baptist in Joaquin about the yearly campaign to get Christmas gifts for area kids. Paxton Church will once again contribute to the Christmas Stocking Fund. Some of our members will also write personal checks or “adopt” a child. First Baptist of Joaquin heads up this effort for Community Christian Services and adds a Bible (English or Spanish) and underwear to each gift. This is a major undertaking, but FBC always has things perfectly organized. Even the year Beverly came down with flu, she kept in constant touch by cell phone.
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.
Randy & Sue Smith—Paxton United Methodist Church