Not All Who Wander Are Lost (3) I’m Fixed Upon It

Wave of Distress (BLUE) by Shepherd (link)

Matt 16: 21-23

The suffering servant must suffer at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised on the third day. Matthew 16:21.

We harbour this hope that Jesus will fix things for us, and for those we love, so that we don’t have to suffer. It is hard for us to imagine why Jesus won’t do this. After all, didn’t he heal the woman with the issue of blood? Feed the crowd of 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes? Raise Lazarus from the dead? Tell his disciples to go out and do the same? 

Why, then, must our lives follow this same cruciform pattern of suffering? To be honest, I don’t know. It feels very mysterious to me.  All I know is what this cruciform pattern promises—that the suffering, the grieving, and the dying is not a dead end. It is a portal. We are passing through the portal, which is Christ, and on the other side is some kind of renewal, some kind of transformation, some kind of resurrected life, which is also Christ.

Peter wanted simplicity and certainty. Instead, Jesus offered him mystery and complexity. Peter wanted to avoid pain, suffering, and death. Jesus invited him to walk with him into a full-body immersion into pain, suffering, and death. Peter wanted a quick political fix. Jesus invited him to believe that on the third day, after the long sorrow, there would be liberation into resurrected life.

Of course we share Peter’s very understandable desires. We, too, long for simplicity and certainty. We, too, long to avoid pain, suffering, and death. We, too, long for the quick fix.

And we hold these desires tightly. We feel angry and scared when what we expect doesn’t come to pass. When certainty gives way to disappointment, we feel disoriented. 

Jesus invites us to loosen our grip and open ourselves to his presence, his love. Jesus’ love, with us, in mystery and complexity. Jesus’ love, with us, as we lean into the pain. Jesus’s love, assuring us that after our long sorrow, there will be liberation. 

This Lent, may we fix ourselves to Love. In this moment we are in, in this reality we are facing, walking onwards, with Love as our traveling companion. Seeking not only to receive love, but to be Love wherever our feet fall. 

“Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold — that’s ego. Love liberates. It doesn’t bind.”
—Maya Angelou

Deep peace and blessing,

Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor, Church at Southpoint

Worship Calendar

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Catch up on Anne’s recent blogs under “News” on our website,

Sun Apr 7
(2) Opening to Love
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
John 21:1-19

Sun Apr 14
(3) Receiving Clarity
Rev Anne Baxter Smith
Acts 3:12-19
Sun Apr 21
Rev Scott Swanson
Acts 4:5-12

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.

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Progress Pride Flag by Daniel Quasar (link)

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