Week of Jan 3-9, 2021.
January 6th is the Feast of Epiphany. If Advent takes us by the hand and walks us through the darkness towards Christmas, then Epiphany ushers us out into the light. Epiphany is therefore a companion piece to Advent. In Advent, we wait in the dark for a light we cannot see. In Epiphany, we stand in awe and fear as the light breaks in upon us.
Epiphany means manifestation or appearance. In this season, we celebrate that in Jesus, God has appeared among us. God’s light – God’s heart, character, desires, actions – is manifest. Karl Barth put it this way: Jesus is the Christ, “the point where the unknown world of God cuts into the known world.”
However, in Matthew’s account of the wise men, the coming of the Christ light illuminated more than just God’s character: it illuminated the characters of those who met him. We see how the wise men honoured and protected him. We see how Herod looked upon this Christ child as a threat. The Christ light illuminated the narcissism of Herod and the great lengths his egoic self would go to stamp out the Christ child.
The word epiphany also can mean a sudden flash of insight or understanding. Like when the penny drops, and we finally recognize something that was true all along, but we just couldn’t see it. The truth of God’s Self. The truth of our false egoic selves. Like little naked mole rats, blind and squinting in the exposure of Epiphany’s light, we prefer our light in little slivers. The truth is both stunning and painful to our eyes.
And yet, the epiphany does come. The penny does drop. As we witness yesterday’s historical events, we see clearly how ugly darkness is. How ugly white supremacy is. How ugly violence is. We also see clearly, how wielding force is nothing compared to the power of righteousness. The moral beauty of goodness is an incomparably greater power. As all of this is made manifest on the historic stage before us, Christians are being asked, once again, to choose: power and privilege or righteousness and justice? Security and status quo or transformation and shalom?
Walter Brueggemann wrote, “On Epiphany day, we are still the people walking. We are still people in the dark, and the darkness looms large around us, beset as we are by fear, anxiety, brutality, violence, loss, a dozen alienations that we cannot manage. We are – we could be – people of your light.”
For Everyone: Bravery Packets
Dear church family,
For the next six weeks we will be exploring stories of bravery from those on the margins of our biblical storytelling. We will be deepening our understanding of our own places of bravery in this Season of Epiphany.
Because our church family is quite spread out I would like to have three pick-up locations: the Hardy household, the Hubbard household and Kingfisher farm. Please be in touch with me if you need directions to any of those locations.
There will be a good number of kits at each location so you don’t need to get back to me, just go ahead and pick up at the location of your choice. (I’ll try to guess:) Peace in your week,
$1300 Raised to Support Vulnerable Youth
During Advent 2020, The NET, our mission team, set aside up to $500 to match gifts given by our church during this special time of fundraising for vulnerable youth. As a congregation we collected $400 in socks to go towards Youth Unlimited. Combining that with amounts donated online directly to Youth Unlimited through their Nite Out campaign and The NET’s matching funds, we raised $1300!
Are you interested in exploring what membership looks like @Southpoint? Anne will host zoom conversations in early January – to participate, please contact her (email, 778-878-4352).
Cultivating small circles of connection, fun and care during CoVid-19. If you’d like to know more about these groups, contact Angela (email).
NB: There are no youth events this week or next.
This link will provide you with the information you need to join Sunday’s service at 10:00 am.
Epiphany Series: Bravery
Jan 10 Puah & Shiphrah
Jan 17 Zelophehad’s daughters
Jan 24 Deborah
Jan 31 Queen Vashti
Feb. 7 Lydia
Acts 16:11-15, 40
Feb 14 Ethiopian Eunuch
If you have a confidential prayer need, please contact John Hardy (email).
If you’re needing to talk or to pray, please call Anne (778-878-4352).
Thank you for considering your giving while we are not meeting in person. Possible means of giving include:
Pre-authorized debit (monthly or one-time) with our linked form. Cost to Southpoint is only $0.50.
Paypal to the The Church at Southpoint. Cost is 3% of the donation. No Paypal account is required, only a credit card.
Charitable Impact Foundation. Cost is 2.8% of the donation.