Southpoint News May 5, 2017
When we were little, there came a moment when we realized the world wasn’t quite as safe as our mother’s womb. At an early age, we began to construct fortresses to protect us from the fickleness of our family systems and the vulnerability of life. Some of us built a fortress out of being perfect and getting everything right. Some of us built our fortress by being super helpful so everyone would love us. Some of us built fortresses out of success. Some of us built fortresses by constructing an identity to set us apart as special in the world. Some of us built fortresses of knowledge, finding refuge in solitude and ideas. Some of us constructed fortresses with extra-thick walls and extra-strong defenses so we could hyper-vigilantly protect ourselves from all threats and danger. Some of us constructed pleasure palaces filled with good food, parties, and stimulation. Some of us constructed a fortress so that we could exert control and dominion over the land. And some of us constructed a fortress where we could block out the messiness of reality, where we could be at peace. We constructed these fortresses, and after awhile they become like our second skin. As we grew up, we perfected the details of construction. From our walls, we extended benevolence, proud of our status as saviour. We told lies to cover over our mistakes. We looked around and noticed other’s fortresses seemed more attractive. We grew envious, then greedy. The more we hoarded, the more we had to lose, so we worked harder, building bigger walls and weapons. Eventually, bored of our possessions, we pursued pleasures to titillate our senses. We grew lustful for the power to have things the way we like them. Content with our comfort, we grew dull, apathetic to other’s needs. Over time, these fortresses, meant to protect us, began to constrict and constrain us. We made alliances to increase our security, wealth, and power, collecting our fortresses together into a matrix of industrial military and religious complexes. Instead of preserving lives, these fortresses became our tombs. Somewhere in the midst of it all, we began to grow restless for something more… and so it has been, for thousands of years. Then, Jesus showed up on the landscape of humanity, offering us our deepest desires. He was all the human heart had ever longed for, and all we had ever hoped to be. He was just, true, good, generous, courageous, honest, compassionate, kind, strong, loving, and authentically peaceful – the fullest expression of a human being creation had ever known. The new Adam – that’s what the apostle Paul called him – a flawless, God-oriented, perfect human being. A true self.
The irony, of course, is that his total goodness threatened the bejeebers out of folk. People were put off by his righteousness, scandalized by his love. Threatened by his success. Intimidated by his uniqueness. Offended by his knowledge. Irritated by his fearless certainty. Jealous of his power. Uncomfortable with his peace. He was arrested by our pride, betrayed by our greed, kissed by our deceit, judged by our fear, spit upon by our envy, mocked by our gluttony, whipped by our lust, turned away by our apathy, crucified by our vengeance. And then his lifeless body was placed in our tombs. OUR TOMBS. But here is the good news: the tomb could not contain him. He exploded out of death and catapulted into life. Power radiated outwards like yeast spreading through bread, like the explosion of magnolia blossoms from a withered branch, like the exaltation of song from the chest of a bird, like the expulsion of water from a whale’s blowhole. He burst forth into life like light exploding into the eyes of a blind man. And even now, he stands behind you, closer than your hands, closer than your feet, whispering your name.
– Pastor Anne Smith
Sundays Ahead – Up Close and Personal Sermon Series
7 May – “At the Tomb” Pastor Anne Smith Text: John 20: 11-18
14 May – “On the Road” Pastor Anne Smith Text: Luke 24: 13-35
21 May – “By the Sea” Pastor Anne Smith Text: John 21: 1-19
28 May – ALL OUT: Meet in Gathering Groups rather than at Sunnyside.
4 June – Pentecost Sunday, regular service.
11 June – Regular service.
18 June – ALL OUT Meet in Gathering Groups rather than at Sunnyside.
25 June – Baptism service
The Net: Supporting our Neighbours
2017 Gleaners: Sun., 27 to Thurs., 31 August
Calling all Gleaners! We’ve reserved space for 25 at the North Okanagan Valley Gleaner Society in Vernon, BC. This service of labour is gift to our global neighbours: the chopped veggies become dried soup mix sent for relief aid around the world. The rhythms of our Gleaners day includes several hours of chopping veggies before noon – in the relative cool of the day – followed by gloriously eternal afternoons playing in lakes and lounging (napping, for some) in the shade of the pines, and chats and games in the evening. We’ve found it works well to share meals – breakfast and lunch picnics and cooking supper in the small kitchen provided. There’s camping space for 25 people – let Anne know if you’re interested!
The Net (the committee)
With the departure of Lenin and Veronica for parts north, our missions group “The Net” is down a valuable member. This group discerns needs that Southpoint can meet in our local & global community and proposes gifts from a budget administered by the Leadership Team. We’ve room for more than one new member. Please contact Anne if you’d like to join or know more.
- Friday, 5 May at 8:00 pm Drinks and Delight: Southpoint women!
59, 15355-26 Avenue, Surrey (Parking is easiest out on 26 Ave) From Christie: “Most of us, if we’ve spent many years at all in the evangelical church, probably have more guilt around Scripture than we do around beauty and literature (the other delights thus far). Over the years we’ve probably been told explicitly or implicitly a lot of “shoulds” about Scripture: we should be reading regularly, we should be meditating on it, we should be memorizing it. I want you to know that tonight will not be about any should. So I pray that we will gather tonight in freedom. I will share my story of what I’ve been delighting in lately. And Yvonne will share some of her story. And maybe some of you will pitch in with your own stories of encounters with Scripture. And I pray that we will just be inspired as we see the breath of Life in each other’s stories, and that will make us more attentive to our own lives, in whatever direction we are called to know Delight.”
Mondays in May from 5:00 to 6:15 pm: Baptism class meeting with Anne, Kingfisher Farm.
Thursday, 11 and 25 May at 4:30 pm: Youth Interns meeting with Anne, Kingfisher Farm.
Friday, 12 & 26 May from 5:30 to 7:30 pm +13 Youth Group at Jen and Andrew Hubbard’s home.
28 May and 18 June: Gathering Groups
Friday, 2 to Sunday 4 June +13 Youth Small Group Retreat! More info next week from Jen Hubbard.