June 13, 2017 - We were verging on double digits this morning, which is our measure of a crowd at Paxton Methodist. Ms. Fannie had a great lesson from the Old Testament—Judges. Gideon receives his call from God but in fine human form, has doubts and questions. He wonders why such bad things have happened to his people as they are constantly being raided and overrun by more powerful neighbors. But God assures him that he will make it possible for Gideon to lead the people to a great victory.
June 5, 2017 - Sunday is the beginning of a new quarter and new study books for our Sunday school class. Our lesson came from early in the Hebrew Scriptures, which put us non-Jews at a disadvantage. We don’t know the national history of Israel very well, and some of the events and people sound so foreign. But taking that into consideration, there is wisdom to be gained from these ancient words. We are introduced to a hero of the Jewish nation, the prophet Deborah, respected and loved by the many tribes. She goes with General Barak into battle, and the enemy is defeated.
May 29, 2017 - Sunday morning began with a little rain. When I started to Paxton, it was raining pretty good. By the time worship was over at 11:00, it was a sunny, warm, humid day. There are no promises in the weather department for Memorial Day. Sunday we celebrated the ascension of Jesus. This was another milestone in the church’s history, considered an important holy day. And of course, for us modern Americans, it was Memorial Day weekend. This solemn day dates back to just after the Civil War in the United States, called Decoration Day.
May 22, 2017 - Sunday was the Sixth Sunday in Easter. Today’s First Lesson came from Acts 17:23-32. Since it comes from the second half of Acts, we know the main focus will be Paul. The first half focuses on Peter. Paul has come to Mars Hill in Athens to speak. Mars Hill was the meeting place to discuss theology, religion, philosophy, and the law. It is still the place where Greek court is held for civil, criminal, and religious matters. Paul is very respectful to his audience made up of many learned people. He knows he will not get many converts, but he does get some who a
May 15, 2017 - Sunday was the Fifth Sunday in Easter and, of course, Mother’s Day! This is a big day for florists and those stores selling boxes of candy. My kids sent Sue a beautiful arrangement of flowers created by Roy at Sunshine Flowers. Roy always has interesting flowers and plants and is so creative in arranging them. I hope all the moms everywhere in the US have a great Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is a secular holiday, but I think there was probably a word or two about moms in most houses of worship.
May 8, 2017 - Sunday was the Fourth Sunday in Easter. I am doing a series on the many stories that people have told in the past, stories that are being told, and stories yet to be told. Today’s story comes from the John Gospel, where Jesus says he is the gate to the sheep pen. Of course, most people don’t think of Jesus as a gate or a door. We need to remember the words of John Wesley, who felt that when you try to take the Bible literally, you kill its meaning. We should not take the Bible literally, but we should take it seriously. Our pathways are the Christ’s ways.
May 1, 2017 - Sunday was the Third Sunday in Easter. I am doing a series on the many stories that people have told in the past, stories that are being told, and stories yet to be told. Last Sunday I focused on those first century Jesus followers who experienced the Risen Lord. From the women who went to the tomb, to those traveling the Emmaus Road, to those behind locked doors and windows—with and without Thomas, and the fishermen who experienced the Christ on the shore of the Galilee. What wonderful stories they told!
April 24 , 2017 - Easter Sunday was a glorious day for Paxton Methodist and about 120 folks. For the 30th year, the Watson family invited everyone to their home for Sunrise Service and breakfast. It was a warm, humid Easter but no rain, so the morning was perfect. Stephen George once again played the keyboard and led the congregational singing. He sang two beautiful Easter songs. Rev. David Mathis played his guitar, sang “Rise Again,” and gave the invocation. Brenda welcomed everyone on behalf of the Watson family. Nori Latimer led us in our Easter Responsive Reading.
April 10, 2017 - Sunday was Palm Sunday. We had a small crowd at Paxton Methodist, but we were in a festive mood. Once again Roy and Judy at Sunshine Flowers provided palm fronds for our worship. We used our new portable speaker/sound system that we will use next Sunday at the Easter Sunrise Service. We “processed” with palms to the music of Donovan singing “Lord of the Dance.” Our Psalter Lesson was Psalm 31, and our affirmation of faith was The Apostles’ Creed. The Gospel Lesson was Matthew 21:1-11, which described Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
April 4, 2017 - Sunday was the Fifth Sunday in Lent. It was a stormy day Sunday and many folks didn’t venture out. We received almost three inches Sunday and were without electricity for about four hours. It was a great time to take a nap. Our big old hound dog Abner is terrified of storms and fireworks. He is a much happier dog today (Monday) with sunshine and blue skies. Easter is fast approaching. Next Sunday’s lections (scriptures) focus on Jesus’ triumphal entry while other readings focus on Jesus’ passion.