The worship service Easter morning was wonderful! (If you missed it, here’s the recording.) The music, flowers, Ken’s homily and the expressions of joy and excitement on the faces of worshippers lifted our spirits and prompted a deep sense of gratitude to God. Thank you for the efforts many of you made to ensure that all the details were in place and that everyone was welcomed with loving hospitality. Worshippers that arrived in time for the Gathering and Sunday School experienced a delicious breakfast of fruit, pastries and homemade breakfast casseroles, followed by a superb lesson on the resurrection led by Henry Hobson. It was a beautiful, inspiring and absolutely beautiful Easter at Southside Baptist Church.
Wednesday evening, Dr. Roxburgh begins a new study series focusing on several texts from the book of Isaiah. The Wednesday series will compliment our church-wide focus and study on social justice issues and what the Bible says related to our involvement addressing such issues. Make plans to be here for the Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time at 5:30 p.m., followed by the first session of this new series: “Isaiah of the Exile – Lost Covenant.”
Palm Sunday: the day we remember and celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and express our love and devotion with loud hosannas. It is a day filled with excitement and anticipation, although, paradoxically there is the heaviness of knowing the betrayal, humiliation, pain and suffering in his crucifixion and death in the days we call Holy week. We know the narrative and that the events of the Holy Week are not the end but the doorway through which we have hope for today, tomorrow and eternity because of the Resurrection. Yes, Palm Sunday is a day to celebrate by singing and shouting Hosanna! Let us celebrate the hope we have in Jesus the Christ every day and especially this Sunday as we gather to worship.
Tonight, Dr. Roxburgh continues the Christian Biography series as he shares thoughts on the life of theologian Karl Barth. Join us for supper, prayer and another session in this informative and interesting series.
I am looking forward to the first day of Spring that occurs next week. Although there will certainly be some cool days to come, warmer days and signs of new life and hope abound with the changing of the season. The blustery, cool winds of March will hopefully give way to the mild and pleasant days we long for. A number of very significant events will transpire over the next few weeks for us as well. These events have a great deal to do with our faith journey and the life of Southside Baptist Church.
A week from this Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week leading up to Easter and a wonderful celebration of the Resurrection. Please take a moment and review the many opportunities to gather and worship with your church family and friends that you invite.
The month of March is also the last month in the church fiscal year. Therefore, a new class of deacons and officers will be nominated and elected by the church in the next business meeting. If you would like to nominate someone to serve as a deacon, please pick up one of the nomination forms at the entrance to the church building, and after completing it, return it to the church office.
The end of the fiscal year is also the time when we look back over all aspects of the church’s ministries, programming, financing and staffing. Please be praying for those who will be completing various leadership roles and those who will be stepping into new ones. Pray also for all who will be working diligently with the church staff to determine the best ways to use all of our resources to pursue the mission of Southside Baptist Church.
I look forward to seeing those able to attend the mid-week gathering tonight at which time we will hear from a group of students from UNC-Chapel Hill. They are spending their Spring Break on an education and service trip to Birmingham. Let’s give them a warm Southside welcome this evening.
Daily consideration of the many opportunities for growth, service and worship during our Lenten journey is an integral part of our personal discipleship. Hopefully, the “call to action” that is emailed to you daily is a helpful reminder of opportunities as well as a prompt to stop and reflect on what you see in daily events, situations and circumstances. And hopefully it also serves as a reminder to take action when you are moved to do so. Praying to see and to respond compassionately to the world in which we live moves us closer to being the people God has called us to be. Spend a few minutes as you start each day asking God to help you see and respond to those who need to experience the love, kindness, encouragement and hope the presence of Christ brings.
Tonight, Dr. Roxburgh continues the Christian Biography series as we hear about the life of theologian Jürgen Moltmann after our Fellowship Supper at 5:30 pm followed by a brief time of prayer.
The rain Sunday did not dampen the spirits of those attending Bible Study, Worship and “Dinner on the Grounds.” We experienced a wonderful time of fellowship and fun around the table after hearing Dr. Roxburgh deliver a challenging homily during the worship hour on Jesus’ words concerning family and the Christian community. Thank you to all who gave time and energy to make this an outstanding event. It was a very good day at Southside Baptist Church.
This Wednesday, the Christian biography series continues as Dr. Roxburgh presents some of the events in the lives of John and Charles Wesley, giving us a glimpse into the faith development and spiritual journey of these two great Christian leaders. Hopefully, this series along with the “Calls to Action” emailed to you daily has complemented well your journey through this Lenten season.
Reflecting on events in our communities, nation and around the world while considering the experiences of teaching, worship and fellowship last Sunday, the words of the hymn, “We Are Called to Be God’s People” written by Thomas A. Jackson, continue to come to my mind and linger there.
We are are called to be God’s people, showing by our lives his grace,
one in heart and one in spirit, sign of hope for all the race.
Let us show how he has changed us and remade us as His own;
let us share our life together as we will around his throne.
Reflect on these words this week, they have an amazing affect on your attitude, focus and commitment when taken to heart.
This week there are two particular events about which I want to remind you. The first is tonight when another session of the series “Christian Biography” will be presented. Dr. David Chapman, Professor of English at Samford University, will share some thoughts and insights on C. S. Lewis’ spiritual journey from atheism to Christianity. Lewis, an esteemed author, academic and theologian, among other things, stated on one occasion, ”I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” This quote characterizes a spiritual journey of great progress and immense depth. Join your church family for this time of study and discussion
Then on Sunday following the worship service, we will gather in Drennen Hall for “Brunch on the Grounds” and some good fun playing Bingo. Bring your favorite brunch food to share with your church family and enjoy the fellowship around the table.
This is an unusual calendar year in that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday both occur on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. On the day we take extra care to express our love to the special people in our lives by giving cards, flowers, candy and other gifts, we also begin the season of Lent and our journey to Holy Week and Easter and the greatest expression of love ever.
Each day during Lent, a devotional thought and an idea for action will be emailed to you. Hopefully, this will help each of us shed some of the superfluous activities we participate in and focus on the truly important things that bring wholeness and meaning to life for us and for those with whom we journey. Join your church family for the Ash Wednesday service at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary and let us be renewed as we journey together.