Southpoint News December 14, 2016
The Slander of Delight
“Joy sneaks in anyway, abundance cascades forth uninvited. The great human rights activist and Irish nationalist Roger Casement investigated horrific torture and genocide in South America’s Putamayo rainforest a century ago and campaigned to end it. While on this somber task, his journal reveals, he found time to admire handsome local men and to chase brilliantly colored local butterflies. Joy doesn’t betray but sustains activism. And when you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated, and isolated, joy is a fine initial act of insurrection.” Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit
The first week of Advent we looked through the threshold of Isaiah and saw a city at peace. The second week of Advent we looked through the threshold of Isaiah and saw a just world under righteous leadership. Now, in the third week of Advent, we look through the threshold of Isaiah 35:1-10 and see an entire creation awash in delight. The vision of the kingdom that we glimpse through the threshold is getting wider and deeper. We are approaching the very heart of the universe. Beneath the conflict, chaos, and destruction of our world, there is Peace. Beneath the peace is there is Justice. Beneath the justice there is Delight. The Kingdom of God, which will one day fill heaven and earth yet which even now is closer than our breath, is a kingdom of delight. It is not a cheap and easy delight, like taking ecstasy, or viewing porn, or eating your tenth salted caramel while reaching for another. Such delights last a second, then leave you feeling worse off than when you started yet craving for more. It is a delight that is rooted in justice, that is built on the path of peace, that grows out of redemption. It is a delight that flows from being rightly related to God, one another, and all things. This kind of delight shows up in the most unlikely of places – in the banter between homeless people on the streets, in the laughter of squatter children, in the slow smiles of an older couple sitting on a bench feeding pigeons. If God is a God of delight, and God is the source of all delight, then perhaps the presence of delight in these most unexpected places is a sign that the kingdom is already coming, is already here, within us, between us, and that we are closer to home than dared imagine. To practice such delight, particularly in times of confusion and darkness, is indeed an act of insurrection.
OUR ADVENT CALENDAR
December 17th: Youth Christmas Party. 5 pm – 8 pm
Come meet at Jen and Andrew’s @ 5 for some food then head out to Williams Park in Langley to check out the lights. Don’t forget your white elephant gift ($5!)
December 18th 11:15: SUNDAY SERVICE – Our annual ALL IN Nativity.
December 19th: A Contemplative Advent Experience, Kingfisher Farm, 11-2.
Come prepare your heart for the coming of Christ through some quiet prayer time in nature. This will be a drop in sort of event that can be done alone or with your family. We will have several contemplative prayer stations set up outside for you to engage with. Find instructions at the barn. Please come ready for any kind of weather!
December 19th: All Church Ice Skating Christmas Party, Centennial Arena, White Rock, 14600 North Bluff Road.
Doors will open at 5:30 for rentals, and skating runs from 5:45-6:45. Please bring a plate of finger food goodies to share. There is room to chill and chat, so even if skating isn’t your think, come join the fun! Chatting after skating with wrap up @ 7:30. See you there!
December 24th: Christmas Eve Communion and Carol Sing
@ Brooksdale Center from 4-5
December 25th: NO SUNDAY SERVICE
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
Ove is a curmudgeon, whose mission in the world is to right all the wrongs that he dislikes, which is just about everyone. And everything. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse, all masking a deep sadness. When an Iranian woman enters the neighborhood, unfamiliar with Swedish cultural values of privacy, he finds his boundaries accosted, literally, as a trickle of strangers begin to cross the threshold of his front door. Herein lies the beauty of this book, and the slowly unfolding redemption of Ove. This book was part of the inspiration for our Advent theme “Threshold”. We bought four copies for your reading pleasure, a few are already circulating, but let Anne or Angela know if you are interested. As you read it, watch for the repetition of the word “threshold” and take notice of just how many times someone is crossing over into someone else’s “world”.
Last year Matt Humphrey invited us to watch this remarkable true story of the Christmas Day truce of 1914, during which the French, German, and Scottish soldiers meet on the front lines and negotiate a cease fire, which leads to singing of carols, the sharing of the Eucharist, and a soccer match. In a world of increasing hostility, this movie becomes a threshold through which we discover our common humanity and the exquisite power of peace. Here is the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRrr-CDXijs??
Prayers…??…pray for Anne’s mom, Shirley Baxter, who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and will soon undergo surgery.
…pray for our winter retreat, as Camp Tulahead is closed for renovations. We are exploring other options.?? …pray for Matt and Roxy, Abi, Eli, and Mary as they prepare for a move to Victoria in early January. They have been such a significant presence during their time at Southpoint and I know they will be deeply missed by many of us.
Hospitals never close and neither does Canadian Blood Services. They need donors throughout the entire month of December. When donating remember we are in the Partners for Life Program and our church ID is: THEC180665
Here’s a quick video to inspire you: