February 4, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother, Jesus. Sunday was the 4th Sunday of Epiphany. It feels like springtime as I write this article on Monday morning. My dog companions, Gunter and Sam, went with me to the city park this morning for our morning constitutional. I am usually bundled up against the cold, but this morning I took off my jacket and even unbuttoned my long-sleeved shirt. This false spring gets me thinking about my garden.
January 29, 2019 - Sunday was the 3rd Sunday of Epiphany. We had a small crowd this morning, as several members were out of town. Our Sunday School lesson today was based on Philippians 2: 1-11. Paul. while languishing in prison, urges Jesus followers to be of one mind by being humble and looking out for the interests of others. Our writer speaks of resetting our mind-defaults to the ways of Jesus. Mrs. Fannie read a prayer used in the lesson that asks God to guide our thinking in all matters. We should all be asking for his advice daily.
January 21, 2019 - Sunday was the 2nd Sunday of Epiphany. The Gospel Lesson comes from the second chapter of the John Gospel. The other three gospels are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels because they are similar—they borrow from each other and possibly another source that German scholars simply refer to as “Q.” John’s Gospel is a theological statement, full of “signs” pointing to Jesus as much more than the Hebrew messiah or the savior of the Gentiles: more like a preexistent being coming from heaven and becoming God Incarnate (in flesh).
January 7, 2019 - Sunday was the Epiphany, when traditions of the church have us celebrate the coming of the wise men. In our Christmas programs, the shepherds and the three kings arrive at the manger at the same time. This is the year of Luke in the Common Lectionary, but Luke doesn’t even mention wise men. Since the Epiphany landed on exactly on Sunday, I chose Matthew 2: 1-12 as my scripture. These mystics were not kings but wise men—scholars following the light to Bethlehem. What a wonderful story to inspire our own journeys into the mystery we call God.
December 17, 2018 - Sunday was the Third Sunday of Advent. Christmas is just over a week away, a time of year of renewed hope and joy. I no longer have that wild-eyed anticipation of presents that I did as a kid, but I sure love to hear the hymns and stories—they never grow old. Our Christmas service will be next Sunday at our regular time—10:00 AM. We will not have services on Christmas morning, as many of our folks will be visiting family or hosting get-togethers.
December 10, 2018 - Sunday was the Second Sunday of Advent. Do you remember when early this year we all wanted rain? Well, we certainly have had a wet autumn. On Friday we had more than four inches, and I am sure we got more Saturday. Our daughter was visiting us this weekend, glad to see her little dog after a month apart. We always enjoy seeing Megan, this time getting to hear all about her travels in Asia. Sue and I went to Nacogdoches to meet up with Sue’s brother and sister-in-law who came up from Houston—also Sue’s sister and brother-in-law, their granddaughter, and Sue’s mom.
December 3, 2018 - Sunday was the First Sunday of Advent. The church really looked festive this morning. Joy and Gene bought a new Christmas tree full of lights. Joy, Gene, and Carolyn decorated the tree. Ms. Fannie bought poinsettias and placed them along the communion rail. Sue and I noticed the manger scene in front of the church when we drove back from Nacogdoches. It is really starting to feel like Christmas!
November 26, 2018 - Sunday was Christ the King Sunday. We Americans are not real keen on kings and queens, but the question posed by Christ the King Sunday is whether we put the ways of Christ first. Are we working to bring his Kingdom of justice, tolerance, and peace into our world? We completed our series of Sunday School lessons and will be ready for the Winter Quarter next Sunday. Our lesson once again focused on Jacob.
November 19, 2018 - Sunday at Paxton was Thanksgiving Sunday. Our Gathering Words were from Psalm 100, a great prayer of Thanksgiving. Even though my sermon was about worrying, it was also about practicing thankfulness. We are human and therefore are going to worry. We worry about our health, our family and friends, and getting old. It is when worry becomes obsessive that it crowds out thankfulness, contentment, and joy. We have to guard against that.
November 12, 2018 - Sunday at Paxton was Gideon Sunday as well as Veterans Day. We had as our guest Gideon speaker Cliff Hickman from Henderson. We really appreciated the update on the work of the Gideons. We budget money each year for their work and many past members of this church were Gideons.