Southpoint News: Week of February 16-22
The Invitation to Co-Labour: Psalm 127
I have memories of helping my dad do odd jobs growing up. My dad had three daughters, so when there was a job to do, there was only one gender to choose from. Chopping wood, building a new frame for the mailbox, cleaning gutters, driving the big mower, digging a new garden – I think my freedom from gender roles began here, working next to my father.
The invitation to co-labour alongside God has always been part of the divine human relationship. In the Genesis creation stories, God created Adam and Eve, and then God invited them to join in this work. As God ordered and filled creation, Adam and Eve ordered and filled creation. As God created and protected life, so Adam and Eve created and protected life. Throughout scripture this theme continues: whenever God revealed God’s self to someone, it was accompanied by an invitation to join in with the work God was doing.
We are invited to co-create with God because labouring is sacred and satisfying, and because – well – there is a lot of good and sacred work to be done on this earth. When we are rightly related to our labour, when we labour from a place of trust in the work God is already doing, when we labour in a way that honours God’s heart, our labor is not in vain.
In Psalm 126 last week we saw a farmer sowing seeds, having returned to a decimated city with a remnant of refugees with the purpose of rebuilding their city, healing their people, and restoring their land and nation. It is slow, hard labour. The farmer is crying over the dusty soil that has no hope of bearing seed. He remembers God restores: he sings, trusting that the sorrow he feels will turn to joy.
In our deepest moments of discouragement when our labour seems hopeless, we are invited to remember that despite how we may feel, and despite how things may appear, two thing are true: we are not alone, and it is not all up to us. God is labouring with us. God is behind the scenes, working for the redemption of all things.
Psalm 127 contains this implicit good news: as we build our homes, raise our children, rebuild our relationships, deconstruct and reconstruct our worship, as we watch over our communities and repair our cities, as we protect the land, God is labouring with us.
Psalm 127 calls out the anxiety that builds when we labour as if we are alone. Hypervigilant, scanning the horizon for potential dangers, we begin to overfunction, burning the candle at both ends without pace or balance, as if it were all up to us. When we do finally sleep, we are restless.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Think about what you are labouring over these days. How hypervigilant are you right now? How driven are you? What is your sleep like?
If you are pushing yourself too hard ask yourself, “What’s going on? What is driving me?”
If you are finding you are waking up, struggling to sleep, “What am I afraid of? What am I grieving?”
What might it be like to remember this week that you are not alone and that is not all up to you?
Last AGM Reminder : )
Wed. February 26, 7:00 pm
Sunnyside Church Building
Please join the Leadership Team, the Nominating Committee, and Southpoint staff members for this significant event for our community.
Anne’s Sabbatical Preparation
The leadership team is actively preparing for Anne’s absence during her sabbatical, which begins April 13th, the day after Easter. A Sabbatical Planning Team is in place, as well as a Pastoral Care team.
We are currently looking for a few more individuals and/or families to join a few of our regular Sunday morning volunteer teams. Are you willing to help out (on rotation) in one of the capacities listed below? Would you let Anne know? Training will be provided.
Set Up Team
Come at 9:30 am to help set up; stay an extra 10 minutes at service end, to help tidy up. Rotation: once every two months.
This is a new team led by Theresa, so she is actively looking for a number of folk interested in this role. Help host and “hold space” for the service by welcoming folk at the beginning of worship, leading folk through the liturgical bits of our gathering, welcoming the speaker, etc.
Rotation: once a month (or two months) depending on size of team.
Since Craig and Anne won’t be available, we need someone to cover for them once a month.
Are you open to the possibility of sharing or speaking on a Sunday morning around a provided theme?
Have an Announcement? Prayer Request?
If you have an announcement for the newsletter, please send it fully prepared and edited to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday.
If you have a prayer request to share with our prayer chain, please contact John & Wendy Hardy (email).