July 31, 2017 - Sunday wa s the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, in the midst of Ordinary Time on the Christian calendar. The Gospel Lesson from Matthew continues with the Kingdom parables. In today’s Gospel lesson—Matthew 13:11-33, 44-52—Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to five different things: a mustard seed, yeast, hidden treasure, a pearl, and a fishing net. Five common things related to the kingdom serve as a reminder that the Kingdom of God is close by. You can smell it—like you can often smell a coming rain shower. The Kingdom of Heaven is going to invade and embrace the earth.
Ms. Fannie had a really good lesson from the prophet Amos. As with other recent lessons, it is about the prophet answering the call. And as it is with other Jewish prophets, the call often requires sacrifice; further, criticism of what these prophets say can lead to alarm. From the high priest at Bethel, Amos is warned off criticizing the King or Israel. Amos maintains that he is not a prophet but a shepherd who has been called to prophesize.
All the month of July we have been collecting cans of spaghetti and ravioli for Community Christian Services. In August, with an eye to the fast-approaching school year, we will collect packages of new children’s underwear and socks. School will begin shortly for Shelby County school staff with the kids following after that. I believe our friends in DeSoto Parish will begin next week. I have spoken to a few kids, who all said they were ready for school to start. I remember years of driving a bus. The morning route was always the easier because it was cooler, and the kids were not wide awake. But by afternoon the kids were hot and ready to get home—and to be rambunctious on the way.
Last week we had a good program at Lakeside Assisted Living. For the first time since her illness, Mrs. Hilda played piano for all the songs. We’re glad to have her back in the saddle! Maggie and Gene were in fine fettle, with Gene singing a couple of solos—even a request for the difficult “It Is Well with My Soul.” Fannie, Ollie, and Sue all did readings. Nora read but also sang a couple of hymns. Pastor Matt told us about the first mention of music in the Bible—speaking of Jubal in Genesis. And I emceed the whole shebang!
Next Sunday is the first Sunday of the month, so at Paxton Methodist we will celebrate Holy Communion. Our day and time for our ministry at Focus Care of Center (Green Acres) has changed to the 2nd Thursday of the month (August 10) at 10:30.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.