Under the Sweet Stars: Expanding our Vision of God Part I: Longing

Home Sweet Home by Christine Hyde (Link).

I love the way that Advent and Epiphany fit together like two covers of a book, with Christmas day being the hinge, the spine, that links them.

There is the bittersweet, yawning wait of Advent. And the insistent, joyful journeying of Epiphany.

There is the seeming absence of God—the hiddenness of revelation—in Advent. There is the manifestation of God—the birth of revelation—in Epiphany.

These seasons mirror the dynamic nature of faith. There is exquisite tension in our relationship with God: between seeking and finding, between hunger and fullness, between doubt and deep knowing.

Epiphany invites us to let our faith be supple, not stationary or static, but something in motion, a process, a leaning in towards God, driven, like the wise men, by a longing.

There are weeks yet of winter sky stretching out before us. I invite you to make a little nest for yourself in the darkness where you can sit for a while.

Sit and do nothing until you begin to feel it. The ache. The longing. The bittersweet desire.

Let your longing wake you up, even if it hurts. Let your longing lead you out on a journey, even if you don’t yet know what you are going to find. Let your longing make you hungry for the manifestation of God: 

God, what do you want to reveal to us? Where will you manifest yourself? God, what it is about your heart, your love, that we do not yet know? What is it about your heart, your love, that we do not yet see? Expand our vision of you. 

Epiphany reminds us that it is not foolish to pray such a prayer. As the story of the wise men reminds us, God reveals God’s self in all sorts of ways, to all sorts of people.

For the readers amongst us, I suggest Susan Cain’s book Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole as a deep dive into the power of LONGING.

Deep peace and blessing,

— Anne

Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, Church at Southpoint

Worship Calendar

If you’re planning to join us for an in-person service, please read our Covid policy. It’s kept up to date, here.

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 Jan 15 “Place”
Series—Under the Sweet Stars: Expanding our image of God
Anne Baxter Smith

Sun Jan 22 ALL IN “Names”
Series—Under the Sweet Stars: Expanding our image of God
Anne Baxter Smith

Sun Jan 29  Fifth Sunday Brunches
No Service at Sunnyside

Please contact office@southpoint.ca for more info.

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?

These six slides express what motivates our ministry (best viewed on a monitor). Read Pastor Anne Baxter Smith’s bio here. Our website is southpoint.ca.

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To reach out by email please write to office@southpoint.ca.


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