Full to the Brim
On February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade the Ukraine. This has been widely condemned by the international community as an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. For the first time since WW2, war has broken out in Europe.
This Sunday, we begin our Lenten series, Full to the Brim, designed by Sanctified Art. In a brief paragraph that explains the series, the designers wrote: “The scriptures for this Lenten season (Rev. Common Lect., Year C) are filled with parables and promises of God’s abundant and expansive grace.
Jesus as a mother hen, a prodigal son welcomed home, a fig tree nurtured with care and hope, precious oil poured out lovingly and freely, stones shouting out with praise—these sacred texts are brimming with a gospel of grace. We’ve done nothing to deserve or earn this grace, and yet, like water, it spills over.
“Full to the Brim is an invitation—into a radically different Lent, into a full life. It’s an invitation to be authentically who you are, to counter scarcity and injustice at every turn, to pour out even more grace wherever it is needed. It disrupts the scarcity mentality that capitalism, oppression, or hierarchy can plant inside of us. When we allow ourselves to be filled to the brim with God’s lavish love, that love spills over. It reaches beyond ourselves; like water, it rushes and flows, touching everything in its path.”
It is a strange juxtaposition to focus on abundance when cities in the Ukraine are being bombed, new reports about climate crisis are emerging, and in our own back yard, Metro Vancouver Board approved a zoning change that will allow to Surrey to develop South Campbell Heights. And yet, maybe this is just the message that we need. There is an abundance within God’s creation and within God’s creativity that is far beyond what financial profit and military power could ever produce. It’s time we turn towards that abundance, practicing generosity in the face of scarcity and fear.
We can share with the people of the Ukraine by partnering with CBM(Canadian Baptist Ministries). As part of the Baptist Forum for Aid and Development (BFAD), CBM is immediately releasing funds to support the response of the European Baptist Federation (EBF) and the Ukrainian Baptists, actively engaged in emergency relief. The AUC ECB (All-Ukrainian of Associations of Evangelical Christian-Baptists) has robust plans in place to respond and a lot of capacity to care for internally displaced persons. Polish and Hungarian Baptists are already organized to house refugees and bring goods into Ukraine.
The CBM will continue to communicate with its partners who have been providing aid and shelter. One Ukrainian pastor, Pastor Igor, thanked all those praying for peace, adding: “Almost from the very beginning we have received prayers and support during this terrible time.”
I urge you to go onto the CBM website and make a contribution to the Ukraine Emergency Relief. When you fill in your donation, use church @ southpoint as your church name. Under special instructions, say that you are making a “donation on behalf of Southpoint”. You will receive at tax receipt from CBM. Following these steps will allow us to tally how much we’ve given—together—as a church.
We enter the Lenten desert, proclaiming with Jesus that our food is to do “the will of the Father.” We trust in God’s abundance, we share with those in need. We disrupt the scarcity mentality that capitalism, oppression, or hierarchy can plant inside of us.
“When we allow ourselves to be filled to the brim with God’s lavish love, that love spills over. It reaches beyond ourselves; like water, it rushes and flows, touching everything in its path.”
Deep peace and blessings.
Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor of the Church at Southpoint
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In-Person 10:00 am on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey!
Sun. Mar 6 First Sunday of Lent Even in the DesertLuke 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 WorthyLuke 13: 1-9
Sun. Mar 27 Third Sunday of LentProdigal Grace (All In service)
Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32
Sun. Apr 3 Fourth Sunday of Lent Brazen Acts of BeautyJohn 12: 1-8
Sun. Apr 10 Palm Sunday Even the Stones Cry OutLuke 19: 28-40
Fri. Apr 15 Good Friday
Sun. Apr 17 Easter Sunday An Expansive LifeLuke 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.
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