News from Paxton Methodist: February 21
February 21, 2021
News from Paxton Methodist
Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the First Sunday of Lent. We sure had a winter storm last week—missing Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Time flies, whether you’re having fun or not! We called off church last Sunday before the snow and ice made it to East Texas but decided to try church today. It turned out to be a beautiful warm day, with snow and ice melting everywhere. Our prayers are for all those still without power, water, and other necessities of life.
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 six feet apart—social distancing, and yes, wear a mask—or maybe two masks—at least for the next hundred days. 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. As soon as you can, get vaccinated against this scourge—twice. Sue and I got our first dose of the Covid vaccine the first of February. We were so happy to get that needed shot in the arm that it was a day of celebration for us.
We had a really small crowd this morning—even for Paxton Methodist. But it was great to get out. We shared stories of the past week and also learned much about fasting in our Sunday School lesson. Most of the lesson, though, dealt with God’s justice. In the Kingdom that Jesus spoke of—God’s Kingdom—people are set free: They share bread with the hungry, provide shelter and clothing for those in need, and generally love their neighbors. In our scripture reading this morning, the Prophet Isaiah tells us we are to fast from oppressing workers, quarreling, and brawling—and to fast from destructive economic practices. Without God’s justice there will never be peace.
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! Both hymns today were sung by Alan Jackson. The first was “Standing on the Promises” and the second, “I’ll Fly Away.” He only sang a couple of verses of each, but he had our toes tapping!
The main scripture for this Sunday came from the first chapter of the Mark Gospel. In verses 40-45 Jesus once again is looking for a quiet place to pray. His disciples catch up with him, as does a man suffering from leprosy. This unnamed man is looking to be made physically, mentally, and socially whole. Jesus heals this man and then sends him to see a priest who will confirm that he is now free of the disease. Jesus asks only one thing of the man—not to tell anyone what occurred. Of course the healed—and once again whole—man cannot stay silent, and soon everyone knows. We humans just are not very good at keeping secrets!
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.