April 12, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Last week was pretty typical as far as spring weather was concerned. We had sunshine, and we had rain. The weather folks say that we’ve seen our last really cold temperatures. I heard from my uncle Kent, who lives in Maine, that they have had several “warm” days that reached the 50s. That still sounds pretty cold to me!
April 6, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Old Man Winter seemed to resist giving up this past week, as we had several mornings with temperatures in the 30s. I sure was hoping there would not be a frost to wreak havoc on my gardening work. Several walks in the park this week were really chilly: My four-footed pals Gunter and Sam didn’t argue about cutting the walk short to go home. Of course, they know they are getting a treat when they get back.
March 29, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Lent’s somber forty days come to an end with Palm/Passion Sunday. Sunday we witnessed through scripture the glorious entry of Jesus into the city—and then things fall apart on Thursday. What is referred to as Holy Week speaks of the many contradictions that accompany human life: During that one week, we witness the best and the worst of humanity.
March 22, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 5th Sunday of Lent. We are reaching the end of this Christian time of reflection, with next Sunday being Palm Sunday. Over half of each of the Gospels deals with that last week of Jesus’ life between Palm Sunday and Easter morning. Life, death, and new life is at the heart of Christianity, so it is Easter—not Christmas—that is the most important Christian celebration. But the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday make it the saddest time also.
March 14, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 4th Sunday of Lent. In the United Church of Canada, today is also Laughter Sunday. Lent is such a solemn time for people of the Christian faith, but we must never forget laughter and humor. An old proverb says, “If you don’t laugh, you don’t take life seriously enough.” During my sermon I told some of the “humorous” tricks the Joaquin high school seniors played on me, their first-year teacher who wasn’t much older than they were.
March 8,2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 3rd Sunday of Lent. Paxton Methodist is having in-person worship; we respect each other by wearing masks and keeping socially distant. Scientists and medical professionals, who know more than politicians about this subject, say that we can do three simple things: To curtail the spread of Covid-19, we should wash our hands regularly, stay at least six feet apart—social distancing, and yes, wear a mask—or maybe two masks. Things are so dire that mask-wearing is the patriotic thing to do.
March 1, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Second Sunday of Lent. After a harsh and deadly winter storm, we’ve had really mild temperatures the last few days. I hope everyone has water and electricity by now. Watching the news, I see there are still parts of Texas without water. We’re lucky to have such devoted water system workers—they worked tirelessly for over a week to keep and restore services.
February 22, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the First Sunday of Lent. We sure had a winter storm last week—missing Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Time flies, whether you’re having fun or not! We called off church last Sunday before the snow and ice made it to East Texas but decided to try church today. It turned out to be a beautiful warm day, with snow and ice melting everywhere. Our prayers are for all those still without power, water, and other necessities of life.
February 8, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the 6th Sunday of the Epiphany. The Season of Epiphany is shorter this year than in other years because there is no set date for Easter (and it’s a little early in 2021). We know that sometimes Easter morning starts off cold and dark—but other years, Daylight Savings has occurred and Spring seems to have sprung. So like in real life, there is uncertainty.
February 1, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the 4th Sunday of the Epiphany. We’re starting another month in this new year, and it doesn’t seem that much different from last year. That is not a good thing. I read a new word today, “quarantired.” Yes, we are. Despite troubles and tribulations, we were all hoping that 2021 would see us emerge from the fog—that we would start seeing the light –that we would be moving beyond this terrible pandemic. This is certainly the worst situation for our world in at least a half a century.