Southpoint News March 3, 2017
Travelling the Lenten Way
Ash Wednesday snuck up on me this year. Maybe it is because it fell on the same date as our AGM, or maybe it was Adam leaving for India, Johanna spraining her ankle, my mom starting her radiation treatment and my dad having a small stroke. Thinking beyond the next day has been a challenge. Thankfully, God is not bothered by the jots and tiddles, like whether we get the black ash smudged on our forehead. The invitation to enter lent with our eyes wide open still stands. I am grateful for Jen who sent me a link to this blog by Christine Sine. It gave me space to pause and consider the richness of this liturgical season we have entered. This description dovetails nicely with our Lenten series exploring the paths that lead to our diminishment and the ancient way that leads to our flourishing. Her blog resoundingly declares the good news that God wants our freedom and transformation, and that the way down into deeper self-awareness and repentance is really the beginning of the way up. Here is a portion of the blog for you to read as you travel the way of lent this year:“Lent is not really about sacrifice and deprivation, it is about freedom and transformation. This is not a time to wallow in our sins and shout woe is me, though it is a time to acknowledge our brokenness, repent of our sins and journey towards wholeness. It is a time to acknowledge the deep longing of our hearts for a more intimate walk with God and consider ways that we might accomplish that.”
In the early church Lent was a time of preparation for those about to be baptized. Today it is more often regarded as a season of soul-searching and repentance for all Christians as a preparation for the joy and celebration of Easter. In both cases the focus of Lent is on how to become more effective representatives of Christ and act as citizens of God’s eternal kingdom now, in this world, in anticipation of that day when Christ will make all things new.
A couple of months ago I came across this quote from Thomas Merton’s Seasons of Celebration.
“God’s people first came into existence when the children of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt and called out into the desert to be educated into freedom, to learn to live with no other master but God himself. “(13)
For me Merton’s words sum up the true purpose of Lent. God wants to educate us into the true freedom of following God with all our hearts and minds and actions. In this season God wants to liberate us from the bondages of our slavery to self centredness, greed, busyness, and rampant consumerism. God wants us to help others be liberated from the bondages of poverty, sex trafficking, imprisonment, addictions, injustice and disease. And God wants us to commit to the liberation of our earth from pollution, deforestation and species extinction. For Christine’s complete blog: https://godspace-msa.com/2014/03/04/lent-not-denial-but-transformation/
March 5th: Sunday Service @ 11:15 “The Desire to be Unique and the Way of Envy” Speaker: Anne Smith with Karin BJ
March 10th: Youth Group, 6 pm, Hubbard Home
March 12th: Sunday Service @ 11:15 “The Desire for Knowledge and the Way of Greed” Speaker: Anne Smith with Jason Goode
March 19th: Sunday Service @ 11:15. “The Desire for Security and the Way of Fear”Speaker: Anne Smith with ?
March 24th: Youth Group: 6 pm, Hubbard Home
March 26th: ALL OUT GATHERING GROUPS Group Exploration: “The Desire for Pleasure and the Way of Gluttony”
April 2nd: Sunday Service @ 11:15 “The Desire for Power and the Way of Lust” Speaker: Anne Smith with ?
April 9th: Palm Sunday Service @ 11:15 “The Desire for Peace and the Way of Sloth” Speaker: Anne Smith with ?
April 16th: Easter Service @ 11:15
- An Invitation from Brent and Jesse to Men
Lenten Spirits and Sabbath Practice: 7 Saturdays of Lent
Kingfisher Farm, Shiloh Shelter, 8:30-9:30
- Spirits and Sabbath are best enjoyed in community. Come to one or all of these evenings of whiskey sipping, sabbath exploring conversations. If you want to be involved let us know what brand of spirit you are planning on bringing so that we do not bring the same brand. It would also be great if you could bring some kind of reading ( prose) that would fit with the sabbath theme or the spirits theme. Reading material that you have found inspirational and helpful on these topics. The last Saturday ( Holy Saturday) we will be having a sauna as well, so plan to stay a bit later. Bring your own favourite glass for drinking spirits.
An Easter Experience – RSVP!
How about we get a group together to go see “Testament” at the Pacific Theatre, Saturday April the 15th for the 2 p.m. matinee? Brent, who serves on the board of PT, is willing to arrange tickets for us. If more that 10 go together, the PT will give us the group rate of only $20 per person. They have also given us the possibility of reserving seats ahead of time and only paying for half of them up front and then paying the rest when we go take in the experience. Interested? Let Brent know ASAP. Check it out:
Love little ones and desire to see them grow in God?
We are in need of another teacher for our Sprouts (3-6 year olds) class! Please talk to Jen Hubbard if you think this might be a good fit for you.”