News from Paxton Methodist: Sunday, November 8, 2020
Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Sunday we celebrated Veterans Day a little early. We are so thankful for all those men and women who answered the call and put themselves in harm’s way. Wednesday, November 11th is Veterans Day, but we wanted to honor all those who served in our congregation and around the world.
Paxton Methodist Church is still meeting each Sunday for in-person worship wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Our music is only on piano and CD—no singing to spread germs. Our first song this morning was the bagpipe version of “Amazing Grace” played at Ronald Reagan’s funeral. The second song was “Stars and Stripes Forever,” played by the Texas State Band that included my son in 1999, and used in honor of veterans around the nation.
We have been treated to a real fall this year. Sometimes East Texas goes straight from summer to winter, but this year we have had really pleasant days and cool mornings. It has been perfect dog walking weather. I have lettuce and herbs growing in my raised garden this fall. The rest of my garden work concerns getting my perennials ready for winter. Sue and I went to Nacogdoches on Friday—Sue and her sister to see their mother, and I to the recycling center and Lowes. I also discovered a new nursery called The Plant Shed on Appleby Sand Road. It was really nice with a big selection of plants and nice folks to help.
We had a surprise at Sunday School when Joe walked in. He has pretty much stayed at home since the start of the pandemic. It was really good to see him and to get his input on today’s lesson. Our Sunday School lesson came from Luke 4, dealing with Jesus speaking harshly to and casting out demons. We modern folk have a difficult time with the pre-scientific idea of demons. But we often see the challenge of evil in our world. Our author spoke of the challenges of racism, misogyny, greed, violence, exploitation, oppression, apathy, and a host of other examples of the demonic in our own time.
The parable from Matthew that served as today’s Gospel Lesson was about the ten maidens who were waiting with the bride-to-be. Five of the maidens came with extra oil for their lamps because part of the excitement of the wedding was that no one knew the exact time the bridegroom was coming. Unfortunately, the other five didn’t think ahead, ran out of oil, and missed out on all the festivities. This parable isn’t in my top five favorites, but the message is clear: We need to be prepared to live in God’s Kingdom—today and tomorrow.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.