July 3, 2017 - Sunday was the 4th Sunday after Pentecost. Our Gospel Lessons have been from Matthew and focus on the five long talks by Jesus found in this Gospel. The five symbolize Jesus’ Torah and a way for the Matthew writer to tie Jesus to the Jewish faith. Matthew 10: 40-43 speaks of a cool cup of water as a sign of hospitality. This passage is only found in the Matthew Gospel. Methodists are always to be practicing “radical hospitality” as seen in their motto—“Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” Unfortunately, as a denomination we don’t make enough of an effort. In Jesus’ time if someone offered and you accepted a cup of water, both of you would be contracted for a year to provide assistance, kindness, and help to each other.
Sunday was the first Sunday in July. In just a few days we will celebrate our nation’s 241st birthday. All of us are fortunate, blessed, or just lucky to live in this country, which has grown in freedom and liberty. We still have quite a distance to go, however, to become that “more perfect union.” Like the verse from “America the Beautiful” says, “God mend thine every flaw.” In July our little church will be collecting cans of spaghetti and ravioli for Community Christian Services. Monday, July 3rd will be our ministry at Focused Care, AKA Green Acres. The program begins at 2:00. Sunday we celebrated Holy Communion. Before heading to Paxton, I went to worship with my friends at Tenaha Methodist. Pastor Matt brought a great message on a difficult passage of Scripture. Being a preacher, most Sundays I miss hearing preaching. Preparing and delivering sermons is not the same, even though I enjoy that too.
We were in double digits at Paxton, which is always exciting. Joy and Gene’s daughter Cherie was up from Houston—always nice to visit with her. Cynthia once again made a side trip to Paxton and played the piano for us this morning. Joe selected patriotic songs in honor of Independence Day, and Cynthia played a lively version of “God Bless America” for the offertory.
“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.