God Calls Us (1) God Calls Us “Beloved”

Epiphany 1

Baptism of Jesus. Mike Moyers.

Jesus is immersed into the waters by John’s steady hands. The water swirls over his shoulders, encloses around his face, until he is surrounded by liquid quiet. Then, a slight pause, a weightlessness, the glimpse of sunlight streaming through water, before John’s hands pull him up. He breaks the surface of the water, passing into the light. The babbling noise of many people rushes back into his ears as the water streams from his hair into his eyes. He brushes the water away from his face, when a voice pours down upon him like liquid love. “This is my beloved son. In him, I am so pleased.” Jesus is immersed in the waters of belovedness BEFORE he has done anything to earn it.

Have you ever felt seen, known, and celebrated by someone? Not for what you do, but just for who you are? Have you ever felt that kind of delight for another person, not because of what they do for you, but simply for who they are? What would it feel like to know that God sees you that way? To hear God say: 

“You are my beloved. I love you, not because of what you do for me. Not because of how you serve me. Or how you fill my needs. Or how you serve others. Or how you fill their needs. You could walk out of this church and never return. You could walk away from all you do for me. And you would still be My Delight.”

Just then, a dove flutters down over Jesus, the Holy Spirit bird—God, manifesting in creaturely form. Jesus, God incarnate, hears God’s voice, and sees God the Spirit’s fluttering form. It’s a beautiful convergence of Divine Love in all three forms—a beautiful trinitarian affirmation of divine SELF-LOVE—God speaking words to God’s very self: “You are mine. I delight in you. I am pleased with you. You are my beloved.”

Have you ever dared speak such words of favour over your existence?  “I am mine! I am pleased with myself! I don’t have to prove the worth of my existence! I am beloved!”

God wants us to join Jesus in the baptismal waters of belovedness, drawn deep down until we are immersed in the waters that embrace us and claim us unabashedly,  “You are mine!”

I love seeing how the Spirit of God speaks freshly through surprising voices. Much like the wise men who came from far outside the Jewish tradition yet were guided to Jesus through Divine Revelation. This week, Liz Gilbert, in the podcast “We Can Do Hard Things” talks about a practice that helps her soak in Divine Love. As she described a twenty-year daily journaling practice, I realized it felt uncannily familiar, reminding me that God is closer than my breath, closer than my hands and feet, and wanting to draw even nearer. Here is a snippet:

Deep peace and blessing, 

—Anne

Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, The Church at Southpoint 

Worship Calendar

Location & Zoom. We meet on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey. Zoom is offered if you cannot attend in person. Zoom link. Meeting ID: 831 1690 9977 password: 753319

Listen to Sermons
Follow “Meditations from the Church at Southpoint” on SpotifyApple and Google

Blogs
Catch up on Anne’s recent blogs under “News” on our website, southpoint.ca

Sun Feb 18 
(1) Jesus Sought Me
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Luke 5: 1-11

Sun Feb 25  Brunches
All OUT—No service at Sunnyside

Sun Mar 3
(2) Praise the Mount
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Matt 16:13-20

Sun Mar 10
(3) I’m Fixed Upon It
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Matt 16: 21-23

Sun Mar 17
(4) Teach Me
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Matt 18: 15-22

Sun Mar 24 Palm Sunday All IN
& Potluck Lunch
(5) Songs of Loudest Praise
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
John 12:12-16

Sun Mar 31 Easter
(1) And I Hope
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Luke 24: 1-12

Sun Apr 7
(2) Here’s My Heart
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
John 21: 1-19

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). Here’s the bio of our Pastor, Rev. Anne Baxter Smith.

If you’d like to really peek inside, sign up for our weekly Southpoint News (scroll to brown footer at bottom of page). The Southpoint News is a MailChimp distributed email—you can unsubscribe anytime and will not be added to our contacts list. Email us at office@southpoint.ca. Website: southpoint.ca.

Progress Pride Flag by Daniel Quasar (link)

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