A Glimpse of One Who Sends
“The question I have found myself asking again and again is, what can we do in our lives, through the decisions we make, choices we make, about how to tip the scales in the world away from fear and toward love? How can we do that through how we treat other people, through what we say, through the issues we choose to speak up on in the public square, through the jobs we take and the purpose we seek to fulfill? How can we tilt the world toward love and away from fear? … And that starts with what we teach our children, with what we choose to practice, like in our day-to-day life. … if we anchor that culture, our identity, our values in love, I think that will guide us where we need to go…”
—US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, Dec 2, 2021.
Full transcript here
In this week’s passage, Isaiah 6:1-8, Isaiah has an encounter with God and is overwhelmed by a sense of doom. He believes he is unworthy, and that his uncleanness will make it impossible for him to see God and live. Instead of destroying Isaiah, Adonai, the Sovereign One, comes near. Angelic beings fly over and touch his mouth, speaking words of assurance over him. “Your guilt is gone. Your sin is gone.” Then Adonai asks Isaiah a question: “Whom shall I send?”
Isaiah responds, “Here I am!! Send me!!!” This quick and joyous responsiveness is endearing: one minute he’s feeling unworthy and deathly afraid of Adonai, next, he’s eagerly crying out, “Pick me!!”
Isaiah’s sense of self is transformed through his encounter with Adonai. Moments before, Isaiah had defined himself by his unworthiness and was expecting death. Now, believing in his worthiness, he offers Adonai his life.
I sense God saying, “Don’t define how I see you by the way you see yourself. Don’t tell me who I can use and who I cannot use. Don’t tell me who I can draw near to and to whom I cannot. I cause to be what I cause to be. I am who I am. I am not tame. Do not control where and how I bestow my grace.”
This Epiphany we have glimpsed a God who gathers. We are gathered home by God, and gathered up into God. We receive love, forgiveness, nourishment, blessing, renewal, and a sense of our own worth. In the encounter with Isaiah, we glimpse a God who is vast and good and holy, a God whose holiness fills all of creation, including you and me. We also glimpse a God who sends. God sends us back into the world to remind one another that the Earth is holy, worthy of care and of love. To remind one another that we, too, are holy, worthy of care and of love.
Every square inch of creation is sacred, created by God, loved by God, filled with God’s holiness, worthy of love and care. We are sent out, in the name of love, to feed, nourish, name, bless, heal, renew, and reassure others of their worth. In the small, simple choices of our day, we are called to treat one another as sacred. Through the smallest of gestures, we are tilting the world towards love and away from fear.
This week, take a moment to lie on your back. Put one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Feel your body rise and fall. Feel the life in you. Whisper, “I am holy.” Notice what shifts inside you.
Now, think about the people you will see, the places you will go. Imagine the holiness of God waiting there for you, within them. Whisper, “You are holy.” Notice what shifts inside you.
As you rise, offer yourself to God and to the world, as one sent to love.
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Sermons Are Podcasted
Catch up on Southpoint sermons by finding the podcast “Meditations from the Church at Southpoint” on Spotify, Apple and Google. They’re also available on our website: www.southpoint.ca.
Sun. Feb. 20
Speaker: Anne Smith
A Glimpse of One Who Preserves
Genesis 45: 3-11, 15
Sun. Feb. 27 All Out
No service—see Brunch, above
Wed. Mar 2 Ash Wednesday
Sun. Mar 6 First Sunday of Lent
Even in the Desert
Luke 4: 1-13
Sun. Mar 13 Second Sunday of Lent
Under God’s Wings
Luke 13: 31-35
Sun. Mar 20 Third Sunday of Lent
You Are Worthy
Luke 13: 1-9
Sun. Mar 27 Third Sunday of Lent
Prodigal Grace (All In service)
Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32
Sun. Apr 3 Fourth Sunday of Lent
Brazen Acts of Beauty
John 12: 1-8
Sun. Apr 10 Palm Sunday
Even the Stones Cry Out
Luke 19: 28-40
Fri. Apr 15 Good Friday
Sun. Apr 17 Easter Sunday
An Expansive Life
Luke 24: 1-12
Sun. Apr 24 All OUT
Good Seed Sunday!
New to Southpoint?
At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.
We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *
We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.
As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.
Curious to know more?
These six slides express what motivates our ministry (best viewed on a monitor). Read Pastor Anne Baxter Smith’s bio here. Our website is southpoint.ca.
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