June 26, 2017 - Sunday was the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost. There were some pretty heavy storms around Timpson that morning, but thankfully they moved off before folks started out for church. I was the fill-in for Fannie, teaching our Sunday School lesson. Our lessons this quarter have focused on Judges; today’s was about Samson. Of course, what I remember from childhood Sunday school days is a tough-guy Samson who had really long hair. The readings today focused not on this but on his miraculous birth and that even as God’s chosen, he seemed to do everything contrary to the wishes of God. Our author said he was impulsive, violent, prone to rage, arrogant, and reluctant to lead. He was supposed to be a Nazirite—a holy order of upright men—but he violated every rule and restriction. He was to begin the resistance to the Philistines, but he ended up marrying one of their tribe. In many ways his disobedience mirrored the disobedience of the people of Israel. Through it all, God, who is love, remained faithful to Samson, continuing to love him even though he was a reckless and often disobedient person. This is definitely good news for us!
We had a small crowd this morning, but we had some very special folks. Cynthia came once again to play the piano for us. Also, Hilda was here this morning—so great to see her. She is out of her boot and getting around pretty well. We all certainly miss Hilda when she is not with us. We pray that she keeps getting stronger every day.
Those who participated in our Holiday Nursing Home ministry last Tuesday were surprised to find Hilda there. This time, her friend Minnie—who also volunteered to play piano—did the driving. We had a lively time, singing lots of old favorites, including some requests. Fannie read a piece as if America were speaking—for example, saying “the Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate.” Nora had forgotten the accompanying CD, but her strong a capella voice brought glory to the song thanking Jesus for caring for her. Sue read a Dr. Seuss favorite, Gertrude McFuzz, and was the emcee for the program.
All this month we have been collecting paper towels and toilet paper for Community Christian Services. I will deliver the goods early in the week. It is hard to believe that 2017 is half over, and Saturday is July! In July we are going to collect cans of spaghetti and ravioli.
The Gospel lessons since Pentecost have come from Matthew, focusing on the long sermons or discourses. Today we were reminded how much God cares about us and loves us. God’s love and grace is never-ending: We can begin each day secure in that love regardless of what we will face.
“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.