Mary’s “Yes”

—A Sanctified Art

Sheldon Vanauken wrote about the crucible of love in his book, A Severe Mercy

“So if he wanted the heights of joy, he must have it, if he could find it, in great love. But in the books again, great joy through love always seemed to go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still, the joy would be worth the pain—if indeed, they went together. If there were a choice—and he suspected there was—a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now, chose the heights and the depths.”

I wonder if this was the choice Mary, too, faced when the angel came to her? There was the safe, cautious middle way—turning away from the angel and towards the life allotted her by her society as Joseph’s wife—or, this strange new way: the heights and depths of saying “yes” to something as absurdly beautiful as bearing the Christ child.

It was a “yes” to joy and sorrow: the sweetness of Jesus’ little hand curled around her thumb as a baby, and the outright terror of watching those same hands stretched taut and bloody, pinned to wood.

I can see this in my own life. The “yes” I’ve made to the movement of God in my life have brought both beauty and sorrow, joy and terror. Not a happily-ever-after kind of story. Just a love story, with all its complexity.

“… Mary and Jesus accompanied one another through life events only the two of them understood. Despite the dissonance, they moved through the liminal and tender space of their lives together. In other words, God moved through the liminal and tender spaces of God’s human life with Mary, even as they were both afraid.”  —Dr. Christine J. Hong

Deep peace and blessing,

— Anne

Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, Church at Southpoint

Love Comes Running

I remember
the first time I was afraid.
I was a child.
It was a nightmare.
(You remember those pesky
monsters under the bed.)
I remember
minutes felt like hours.
I begged
the sun to rise.
(Fear always begs
the sun to rise.)
Eventually,
after minutes that felt like hours,
I cried out.

My dad came running.
He sat at the edge of my bed.
He said there is no reason to be afraid.
He checked the closet and the floorboards.
He rearranged my pillows.
He said, “I can stay.”
And that’s when I learned
that when you are afraid,
love always comes running.
Love says, “I can stay.”
That’s what God does for us.
God sits at the edge of the bed.
God checks the closet and the floorboards.
God says, “Be not afraid.”
God stays until sunrise.
Love always comes running.

Poem by Rev. Sarah Speed
A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

Worship Calendar

If you’re planning to join us for an in-person service, please read our Covid policy. It’s kept up to date, here.

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. Dec 11, 10:00 am
Third Sunday of Advent

Sun. Dec 18, 10:00 am
Fourth Sunday of Advent

Sat. Dec 24, 4:00 pm
Christmas Eve service (at Kingfisher Farm)

Sun. Dec 25
NO service

Sun. Jan 1, 10:00 am
Christmastide 

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.

If you’d like to really peek inside, sign up for our weekly Southpoint News, a MailChimp distributed email—you can unsubscribe anytime and will not be added to our contacts list.

To reach out by email please write to office@southpoint.ca.

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