News from Paxton Methodist

Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the first Sunday of a New Year on the Christian calendar and the First Sunday of Advent. It was also Mrs. Hilda’s birthday, although she couldn’t be with us today. All of us wish this lovely lady a very special day.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Sue and I drove to our daughter’s house to celebrate the holiday. My brother and sister-in-law also came—only five of us this year. Usually at Paxton Methodist, Advent also features a Christmas program and dinner for the community. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, we have canceled our 2020 Christmas program.

All during the month of December we will be collecting cans of soup for Community Christian Services. Paxton Methodist is having in-person worship, and we respect each other by wearing masks and keeping socially distant. We want to be as safe as we can. Our music this morning was on CD. The first was “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” by Mahalia Jackson. This is a fine Methodist Christmas carol written by Charles Wesley. The second song was “Hymn of Promise,” sung by LuAnn Jordan,.who grew up in Paxton Methodist Church.

Our Sunday School lesson was “Created, Loved, Known.” The scriptures were Genesis 1: 27 and Psalm 139: 13-18. The lesson spoke to our two ideas of God. One is that God is transcendent or “holy other.” The other is that God is here among us. I felt like the most important thing our author said was, “We have a human responsibility to represent God and divine attributes throughout the earth.” That is an awesome responsibility when we think about it.

The scripture for my sermon was the Gospel lesson for the First Sunday in Advent, Mark 13: 24-37. This scripture tells us that we need to be alert during this time. That we should use this time to become more aware of God’s workings in his Kingdom right here in Shelby County. It has been hard this year to be aware of the beauty that surrounds us because our world has been stricken by sickness and death. I closed my sermon with Longfellow’s lament, “Yet peal the bells more loud and deep: God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth goodwill to men.”

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.