July 10, 2017 - Sunday was the 5th Sunday after Pentecost. We are deep into summer, and the temperatures and humidity testify to that. I talked to an aunt and uncle in Maine who said the high there was 73. He suggested that we get a summer place in Maine—it sure sounds good! The Gospel Lesson today from Matthew includes the well-known passage about a comfortable yoke. Jesus offers to help us with our burdens of human living and promises that the yoke will be easy. There is a Christian legend that goes back to at least the Middle Ages about Joseph’s oldest son who become very talented working with wood. According to this story, farmers and those who used beasts of burden would hire Jesus to make yokes for their animals. Jesus measured each animal, carefully carving and molding each yoke so that it sat just right without rubbing or causing blisters. In light of our Gospel lesson from Matthew 11:28-30, we can imagine this story having some truth. I am reminded of the great Native American holy man, Black Crow, who would teach young members of the tribe their people’s legends and stories. Often one of his young charges would ask if that story was real. He told them that he didn’t know if it happened exactly the way he said—but he knew it was true!
We had a great Sunday school lesson from Isaiah. In the first eight verses of Chapter 6, we see Isaiah having a vision of God in his Temple, surrounded by heavenly beings. Isaiah realizes how unworthy he is; however, when one of the heavenly creatures touches a hot coal to Isaiah’s lips, he is cleansed. When God asks who he should send as a prophet to his people, Isaiah is ready for the challenge. The author said that the purpose of this lesson was to realize that unexpected events can provide opportunities to serve God.
We had a small crowd at church today. Mrs. Hilda played for us this morning—so good to see her on that piano bench again! We surely do appreciate Cynthia coming the last months to play for us (quite a detour from Joaquin to Paxton to Logansport, where she attends church). The topic of conversation as we gathered was the stormy weather last night. At my house, I received almost four inches of rain in just a short time.
Sue and I went to Dallas to see our kids and my brother and sister-in-law. We had a really nice but short visit. Our nephew’s nine-year-old daughter, our daughter, and Sue and I went to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and spent the night. We took the “safari tour” and saw countless species of animals, many of which are endangered. At Fossil Rim, their main purpose is to build those groups up again.
In July our church will be collecting cans of spaghetti and ravioli for Community Christian Services. On Tuesday, July 18th we will head to Holiday Nursing Center for our monthly ministry. On Thursday, July 27th we go to Lakeside Village. Both ministries start at 2:00, and everyone is invited to join us.
On July 3 last week—Independence Day Eve—a group of us put on a program at Focused Care (AKA Green Acres). Mrs. Fannie and Nora celebrated the Fourth with their reading and singing selections. Nora, in stars and spangles of red, white, and blue, looked the part as well. Sue read a children’s book about a dog named Milo, and we had two preachers there to give devotionals. Pastor Matt reminisced about devotionals on Boy Scout trips, and I presented some vignettes of America’s political friends. But mostly we sang from Heavenly Highways, accompanied by Mrs. Minnie. We were glad to have Mrs. Hilda and Jo with us too, raising their voices in song.
“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, Open Minds.” Sunday School starts at 9:30 and 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 me your email address to the Paxton email address and I will add you to the list. Godspeed.