Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus reveals for us more clearly than anyone or anything else who God is. And in this passage, Jesus is revealing God’s deep desire to give us rest. “Come to me. I will give you rest.” Rest is a gift, an expression of God’s loving kindness and compassion towards us.
When I think of this passage, I remember the feeling of tenderness I have when I look at my sleeping kids. When our kids were small, we lived in England, in a tiny flat above a three-car garage on a ten-acre property. By this garage was a beautiful big beech tree. On summer days, it gave us a most glorious patch of shade, the perfect place for a nap.
Sometimes, when Adam and Johanna were tiny, I would stretch duvets and pillows under the tree and that’s where they’d have a nap. Sometimes, if my kids fell asleep in the car, I’d go upstairs, get the blankets and pillows and carry them down and make a little nest for them. Then, I’d ever so slowly unbuckle them and carry them over to the blankets to let them sleep. I can still feel that tenderhearted love in my heart as I gazed upon their little frames, all tucked under the safety of that tree. I loved to give them this gift of rest.
In these moments, as I watched my kids rest and made it possible for them to rest, I was feeling in my heart the heart of God, who loves us with such tenderness, and loves to give us rest. Rest is a gift God particularly longs to give us when God sees we are weary and heavy laden. Again, this gift of rest is an expression of God’s loving kindness and compassion towards us.
Can you think of a time when you felt that kind of loving kindness and compassion in your heart towards someone? When you saw someone who was weary. Or burdened. And you longed to give them a safe, warm, quiet place to rest?
Now, what if you directed that same tenderness and compassion towards yourself? What if you gave yourself the gift of rest, as if you were caring for yourself with the same intention and kindness you would show a weary child? What kind of rest do you need this week? If it’s hard for you to receive this gift from yourself, or to offer this gift to yourself, what makes it difficult? If you do practice resting this week, notice how you feel after you’ve rested? Notice how it resources you for the loving and labouring you do.
Deep peace and blessing,
Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, The Church at Southpoint
PS. Our summer theme is “Refresh”. This Sunday, Brent Unrau led off with an exploration of Rest. Next Sunday, I’ll explore Play, with some special guests from our congregation. On Sunday June 25 we’ll practice both at Redwood Park at 10:00 am for our June All OUT! See below.
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 Oct 1 Joy Banks
Refreshing Our Imagination
Introducing our Core Images.
Sun Oct 8 Jake Tucker
The God of Small Things
Luke 13: 18-21
Sun Oct 15 Anne Baxter Smith
John 4:1-42 (**v 13-14)
Sun Oct 22 ALL OUT
No service in the Sunnyside building
For our next All-OUT Sunday, we’ll be splitting up into three ‘teams’ to enjoy a mixture of work and play near the ocean. Folks on the green team will get to join an invasive species removal event hosted by Green Teams Lower Mainland at Ruth Johnson Park. Just a short walk down from the park, folks on the blue team will participate in a beach clean-up walk. Finally, anyone who’d prefer coffee and conversation at the cafe can join the brown team — you are encouraged to bring brownies with you! 🙂
Sun Oct 29 Fifth Sunday Brunches
No service in the Sunnyside building
Sun Nov 5 Anne Baxter Smith
Sun Nov 12 Anne Baxter Smith
John 21: 1-14
Sun Nov 19 Anne Baxter Smith
Mark 4: 26-29, Ps 26:5,6
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?
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