Where Have We Come From?

Charlene Vickers, 2004
Vancouver Art Gallery “Where Do We Go From Here” exhibit (Link)

Nazareth was a small village backed against the Galilean hills at the end of a dirt road. Amidst the violence of a fresh Roman occupation and the clash of rebellions, Nazareth was a small tight-knit community of ethnic Judeans, eking out a living while holding onto their spiritual practices, values, and way of life. 

If we were to find a comparable contemporary place on earth for Jesus to be born, it would not be a white, western, upper middle class suburb of North America. He would have been more likely to be found amidst a recently bombed mountain village in Afghanistan. And yet who has written the dominant narrative within Christianity?

Many Christians have inherited stagnant doctrines from the church and have continued in and contributed to systems of injustice, misogyny, racism, and violence. Because these interpretations remain dominant and seem to work for many, they have rarely been challenged outside academic circles. If these doctrines and beliefs are not replaced, they will continue to perpetuate the wounds of our society and our world.
—Phuc Luu, Jesus of the East

Who was Jesus? What narratives have we mistakenly laid on him without knowing, narratives that reflect the residual vestiges of western colonialist thought rather than his Judean identity? How do we decolonize the ideas circulating about Jesus and let him speak fresh truth to us? How do we decolonize our own minds? 

Perhaps a better question than whether Christianity will survive in today’s age is the question of which kind of Christianity and whose Jesus will be passed down to our theological descendants.
—Phuc Luu, Jesus of the East

Curiosity is contagious. In the beginning of the book of John, Andrew was curious about who Jesus was, so he left John the Baptist and drew closer for a better look. Jesus asked Andrew, “What do you want?” Andrew replied, “Where are you staying?” Jesus responded to his curiosity with this gorgeous openness: “Come, and see.” I wonder what there is to see if we let our curiosity draw us closer to Jesus for a second look. Most of us have been in the church all our lives. We’ve heard it all, seen it all. Or have we? 

And how about one another? What kind of narratives, stereotypes and false assumptions have we projected onto one another, often coloured by our own traumas and unhealed wounds? Can we get curious about each other? Can we make room to listen to stories about where we come from, our communities of origin, and the beauty and terror that have shaped our lives?

Deep peace and blessings.


Rev. Anne Baxter Smith
Pastor of Church at Southpoint

Worship Calendar

Fall Series based on Sanctified Art material:

I’ve Been Meaning to Ask—A Series for Curiosity, Courage and Connection

Question for October: Where Have We Come From?
We believe everyone is shaped from the dust of the earth and the breath of God. Everyone has a story to tell. Our stories are messy and beautiful, painful and hopeful—being written and rewritten over time. We commit to disrupting our assumptions and staying curious
—Sanctified Art

Sun. Oct 24, ALL IN
Taking care of this place!
Due to the nature of this particular All In service there will be no zoom option this Sunday.

Sun. Oct 31, 10:00 am
service at Sunnyside!
Until Friday this week, you can still Sign up for Oct 31st!
Guess Who’s Coming to Brunch?
Host or be hosted! 
We’ll let you know by Sunday Oct. 24 where you’re heading the next week

Question for November: What Do You Need?

Sun. Nov 7, 10:00 am
Speaker: Anne Smith Job 2:1-13

Sun. Nov 14, 10:00 am
Speaker: Anne Smith 2 Tim 4:9-13

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