Living the Questions: Lent
Searching the sweet stars, looking up and away from Earth, is a beautiful posture. It captures something of our desire for the transcendence of God. There is a bright cleanness to the night sky that is captivating. It’s empty of human activity, full of mystery. Finally, something too vast for us to colonize and pollute!
Eventually, the sun comes up and our gaze is drawn back to Earth. We see it all—the piles of old leaves on the lawn and the sunlight streaming across the kitchen table. We see plastic scuttled by the waves along the high tide mark, and the scattered brightness of children playing outside during recess. We see the homeless woman sleeping on cardboard, and the old woman stroking the head of her sleeping grandchild. The flow of water over Jesus’ head by the river, and the dryness of Jesus’ mouth in the desert.
In the season after Epiphany, we positioned ourselves under the heavens, gazing up. Now, as we move into Lent, we position ourselves in the wilderness, gazing down. Both gazes are holy. God is transcendent, beyond us. God is immanent, within us.
After a season of expanding our vision of the Divine, there is an inevitable focused contraction that happens as we bring our gaze back down to the earth. We face ourselves again. Not just our own self, but the collective human experience. If we wait long enough, questions begin to bubble to the surface: Why is there so MUCH suffering? Why have you forsaken us? What hope is there? Will I begin again? Who am I going to listen to? Whom can I really trust? What am I willing to give? Who am I willing to let in? Do I dare believe? Lent invites us to slow down. Lent invites us to open up and welcome the questions of our own inner landscape.
Deep peace and blessing,
Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, Church at Southpoint
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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