News From Paxton United Methodist Church

 

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Sunday was Easter and the most important holy day on the Christian calendar. Unfortunately, the church universal has split east and west: The eastern, or Orthodox Church, celebrates Easter next Sunday. Whichever date one celebrates, we all can agree that Easter came late this year. Everything is turning green or blooming. Nature is such a wonderful gift from God! As we ponder what resurrection means, we can enjoy Easter by being with friends and family—at home, in church, and in glorious nature.

Nature is a wonderful gift, but sometimes Mother Nature can bring storms. There were certainly many trees down last week, and I imagine everyone has been picking up limbs and sticks even if they didn’t lose a whole tree. I haven’t heard of anyone being hurt, and we can be thankful for that. All month long Paxton Methodists have been collecting toothpaste and toothbrushes for Community Christian Services. Next month we’ll bring cans of fruit.

Our Sunday School lesson was from the Mark Gospel, specifically what Mark had to say about Easter morning. As in Luke, three women disciples start out early to prepare Jesus’ body for proper burial. In Mark’s telling, when they get to the empty tomb, a man tells them that Jesus is not there, that he will meet them in Galilee. But the three are so frightened by all that has happened before that morning plus the strange events at the tomb, that they returned to the other disciples and said nothing. Nothing! They were afraid.

Our two songs this morning were “He Lives” and “Lord of the Dance.” The first one is, of course, the most “Easter” of hymns; “Lord of the Dance,” one of my favorite hymns, summarizes the whole story of Jesus’ ministry. We had two bulletin quotes this week. On the front, to go with a sunrise photo proclaiming “He is risen,” was a statement from Kate McGahan: “The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.” Later this week comes Earth Day, so we also had a quote from Chief Seattle: “The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth.”

Sue read the Gospel story about Easter morning from the Luke Gospel. All of the gospel writers have different elements in their narrations. I think it would be like four artists painting the same thing—each painting would be unique and different from the others, even though all were painting the same thing. In Luke’s story three women go to properly prepare Jesus’ body for burial. This wasn’t usually the work of women, but these were unusual times. When they got to the grave, the stone had been moved and two men asked why the women were looking for the Christ among the dead. He is alive. He is alive indeed. They run back to tell the others but aren’t at first believed.

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, and Open Minds.” Worship begins at 10:00. Our email address is paxtonumc@yahoo.com. If you would like the weekly email newsletter about Paxton Methodist, you can send your email address to the Paxton email address, and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed.

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