Easter Sunday: Living the Questions—What Do You Want?
When I turned forty, I was busy raising our two kids and serving on the leadership team of a little church in Bristol, England. My life contained so much goodness. And yet, there was this vague restlessness itching away at me. It got so strong that when we made a trip back home to Philadelphia to visit, I went to see my old spiritual director. After listening to me for a while, she said, “Anne, I think God is asking you a question: what do you want?” I began to cry. For years, I had been asking God that question. Now, God was turning the tables and asking me.
If you dig deep enough, you can trace back most of your decisions back to a core desire.
I remember being over at the Hardy house and Finn, their dog, came over to me. I said, “I love Finn”, and Katie said, “He is needing a new home.”
I found myself very interested in this possibility, but also very nervous. Would another dog at this time in my life be a good thing? Could I do right by him? Could I properly train and care for him?
We arranged for Finn to come live with me for a trial visit and I got to know him. I realized that this would be inconvenient. It would require patience. It would be difficult for me to travel. And I’d be right back to having a house with a shabby couch, dog hair and muddy paw prints. A the end of the trial period, it came down to this: I wanted this dog MORE than I wanted convenience. More than I wanted ease. More than I wanted a spotless house. I recognized that my life feels more complete when I share it with an animal. And this animal, in particular, had won my heart.
We think being a Christian is about belief, but really, it’s about desire.
While it was still dark, Mary arrived at the empty tomb. She was in a state of deep distress. The one she loved had been taken from her in life, and now, also, in death. When Jesus appeared to her, she didn’t recognize him. He was so unassuming that she mistook him for a gardener. This mysterious figure asked Mary, “Whom do you seek?”
After listening to her story, he spoke her name, “Mary.”
It was as if those giant stadium lights were switched on inside her. Joy coursed through her body. She ran back as fast as she could to tell the other disciples: “I have seen the Lord. He is Risen!” The fulfillment of her deepest desire had come!
The burning question of Easter is not “Why did Jesus have to die?” or, “What is your view of atonement?” It’s the question that Jesus asked of Mary, “What are you searching for? Whom are you seeking? What do YOU want, at the deepest, truest part of your being?”
Deep peace and blessing,
Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, Church at Southpoint
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Location & Zoom. We meet on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey. Zoom is offered if you cannot attend in person. If you have trouble with the zoom link, use: meeting ID: 831 1690 9977 with password: 753319
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 Apr 16
Acts 2:14a, 22-32 / 1 Peter 1:3-9
Service at Sunnyside
Sun Apr 23
No Service at Sunnyside!
Sun Apr 30 Good Seed Sunday Celebration
All OUT, 10:00 am
No Service at Sunnyside!
Join us at A Rocha Brooksdale
1620 192 Street, Surrey
Bring yer boots and a bag lunch.
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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