December 23, 2015 - Sunday was the 4th Sunday in Advent and is often referred to as Mary’s Sunday. Our gathering words were The Canticle of Mary also called The Magnificat. Today is the last Sunday of Advent. Christmas is right around the corner and the television news says 100 million of us will be traveling this Holiday Season. Paxton United Methodist wishes everyone a Joyous, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
December 14, 2015 - Sunday was the 3rd Sunday in Advent. All four lessons today speak of hope. Often as in our Old Testament reading from Zephaniah, this hope is built on pain. Zephaniah is very critical of those in power in ancient Israel and Judah . But as you move into the 3rd and last chapter, Zephaniah says to “Sing!” What is there to sing about? God is present and living with his people. He will not forget them. In our Epistle Lesson from Philippians, Paul is telling the people that they should celebrate God all day—every day.
December 7, 2015 - Sunday was the 2nd Sunday in Advent. The Old Testament Lesson was from Malachi. In the third chapter God says, “Look! I am sending my messenger on ahead to clear the way for me.” The name Malachi means messenger. If we look at the Hebrew Scriptures and assign a theme, it would be “covenant making and covenant breaking.” For the Jewish people there is hope in Malachi’s words even though they were often about covenant breaking. We of the Christian faith read those words and think of John the Baptizer and Jesus.
September 14, 2015 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus. Sunday was the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The scripture I used for my sermon was actually last Sunday’s Gospel Lesson—Mark 7: 24-30. I used the Epistle Lesson from James last week. Both these two scriptures are so important I decided to use the Mark Gospel and its story about the Syrophoenician woman. In the Matthew story this woman was a Canaanite woman. Both descriptions refer to someone who is a Gentile and despised by the Jewish people.
August 17, 2015 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus. Sunday was the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Old Testament Lesson was 1 Kings 2: 1-12, 3: 3-14. In this part of the history of the Jewish people King David dies and his son, Solomon becomes king. Solomon faces extreme danger from palace intrigue. Not everyone is happy that Solomon has become king. To begin his reign Solomon leaves the capital for Gibeon which is a holy site and where once the Ark of the Covenant was. Like many ancients, Solomon goes to a holy sight and camps out.