News from Paxton Methodist: Sunday, January 17, 2021
Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the 2nd Sunday of the Epiphany. As Christians during this special time of the year, we are to be aware of God working in our world and to feel his essence in everything. We went from snow on Sunday and Monday to temperatures in the 60s on Thursday. As I have started this article, it is Friday afternoon and it sure is windy outside.
Paxton Methodist is having in-person worship; we respect each other by wearing masks and keeping socially distant. Scientists and medical professionals say that we can do three simple things before the vaccines are generally available: To curtail the spread of Covid-19, we should wash our hands regularly, stay at least 6 feet apart—social distancing, and yes, wear a mask. Things are so dire that mask-wearing is the patriotic thing to do. It is also the Christian thing to do, loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Also, as soon as you can, get vaccinated against this scourge—twice.
The scripture for our Sunday School lesson came from 1 Thessalonians 1: 2-10, 4: 12-18. This book is the oldest in the New Testament. Paul tells the Thessalonians that their good work comes from their faith, and it shows. For them loving had become a habit, and love is always looking for new opportunities. As Paul says, “Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.” Our author says that until Christ’s return we can persevere in our faith with the hope of seeing Jesus in everyone that we serve.
We want to be as safe as we can. Since we resumed in-person worship, our music has been on CD. We can hum the song under our masks but no vigorous singing! Our first hymn this morning was by Elvis, a stirring rendition of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” “Jesus Loves Me, our second hymn—though simple and familiar—was beautifully sung by Christy Lane.
Sue read parts of the Old Testament Lesson: 1 Samuel 3: 7-8 and the Gospel lesson: John 1: 46-50. In the Old Testament, young Samuel is called by God throughout the night, but the writer says he wasn’t really ready to understand what was going on. Finally his mentor Eli did. In the John Gospel, two of John the Baptizer’s disciples meet Jesus and are convinced of his authenticity. Phillip is so excited he runs to Nathanael who just rolls his eyes and says, “What good ever comes out of Nazareth?” But within just a few minutes after meeting Jesus, he too is convinced.
Gene presented a treasurer’s report this morning: We certainly appreciate his thoroughness. Our regular district and conference church apportionments are paid in January, with some budget items further down the calendar year—for example, when it’s time for Children’s Christmas giveaway. This month our Community Christian Services donation is cans of tuna.
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 email@example.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.