News from Paxton Methodist - July 19, 2020

Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the 7th Sunday after Pentecost. For us, ordinary time is the pattern we are in right now weather wise. It is hot and humid with very little rainfall coming our way. I have been watering my trees and plants every day just to keep them alive. I can’t imagine living like our great American farmers, knowing how cruel the weather can be. Both Sue and I had grandparents whose livelihoods depended on the whims of Mother Nature.

We are in the 5th month of isolation caused by the vicious coronavirus. Governor Abbot said that we actually already have that so-called “magic bullet” that could arrest the virus in as little as four weeks. He said that magic bullet is for everyone to wear a mask in public and practice social distancing. Could that really make a difference—science says a big YES!

Texas is in the midst of a terrible time with this pandemic. We are all perplexed: I know everyone wants to do what is right, but we are in uncharted territory. Reopening was, in retrospect, too much too soon. Let’s listen to our medical and scientific experts, working as one to defeat our common enemy, which a virus, not anything political.

I was saddened by the news that John Lewis died. He truly was the conscience of America. In our Sunday School lesson, Fannie pointed out that our author spoke of John Lewis and the fact that he won the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his bravery. Lewis said he always felt free and liberated in his heart when he did the right thing. Our scripture focused on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace. Our author said that these men’s refusal to bow to the king’s statue was not arrogant and boisterous, but calm and unwavering. This is at least twice that this way of dealing with adversity was held up as a way we should respond to challenges.

Our Gospel Lesson from Matthew 13 was focused on yet another parable about the Kingdom. This Sunday’s parable featured wheat and weeds. Jesus’ disciples responded as if they understood what Jesus was teaching—but, as a retired teacher, I have witnessed my students saying they understood when they were lost as geese. In this case, the disciples continued to ask for clarification: They knew that Jesus had a special way of showing them how to experience God and live in his Kingdom even in the toughest of times. He was the ultimate teacher.

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.