July 19, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. We are supposed to have a week of rain and high temperatures only in the 80s. Now, that is unusual for Texas in the middle of July! I not only enjoy the more moderate temperatures, but I also look forward to not having to water every day. Of course, rain means working my dog walks in between showers. I’ll still take it, gladly.
We were in double digits Sunday morning at Paxton Methodist—something we get excited about! It was great to see Sue and Fred. Our music today was again on CDs, “Amazing Grace” and “Wonderful Words of Life.” Sue, our music tech, tries to select hymns that we all know pretty well—and that have pauses. Our little congregation plugs away, but we don’t have any strong singers to help carry us. Last week Sue suggested providing her with a tambourine to keep the beat!
During Sunday School we talked about the author of this quarter’s lessons and her unique way of looking at things. The title of our lesson was “Inside Out,” which we didn’t quite get. The purpose, using Acts 6: 1-7, was for the local church to figure how best to care for those in need. We know that Jesus had great compassion for widows, of which the early Jesus movement had many. Some were better off, but life in those times was hard for most, with widows particularly hard-hit. Our author asked, “Who are the most vulnerable among us today?” We discussed some new ways our church might be able to lend a helping hand.
Sue is not only our music tech; she is also the Liturgist. She led us in a responsive reading of Psalm 23 and in the 21st Century Affirmation. She also read the Epistle lesson from Ephesians 2: 17-22. Paul assured everyone that Jesus came to bring peace to those that were already close to God—but also to those far away.
The focus of my sermon came from one verse in Mark: “When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” In eight different places in the Gospels, the writers mention that Jesus “had compassion.” He had great concern for the poor and marginalized, the hungry, the sick, and those who were grieving. By looking at the Christ, we realize that God is about compassion and caring for one another.
All during the month of July, Paxton Methodist is collecting cans of spaghetti and ravioli for Community Christian Services. Come August—and school reopening—we will focus on “Undie Sundays” to help outfit returning students.
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.