The Apostle Peter is often sidelined in our understanding of the New Testament. Despite the fact that he was one of the inside threesome who were especially close to Jesus: Peter, James and John, he is often overlooked and attention is focused on Paul. Yet Martin Luther once commented that his writings were among ‘the true kernel and marrow’ of the New Testament.
In our Wednesday evening Bible Studies in October and November, we have been exploring the life of Peter. There is something winsome and welcoming about the character of Peter. He is impetuous and impulsive, failing the Lord in so many different directions, and yet the honesty with which the Bible records his life gives us hope that God is willing to commit the work of his kingdom into the hands of folks, just like ourselves, who will seek to follow him in the life of discipleship.
The pathway of our own pilgrimage is lived out in the company of the one whom Julian of Norwich called ‘our courteous Lord’. He knows all about our unreliability and capacity for stupidity, meanness of spirit and failure, and yet he knows, as well, our ability, strengthened by his grace, to scale heights of courage and depths of devotion, that our lives might be filled with love for him and for others.
Dr. Ken Roxburgh
Pastor for Preaching and Teaching
During October and November, the theme of our homilies will be “Discipleship in Mark’s Gospel.” Many writers on Mark think of this gospel as a masterpiece, a story that might have been read or told in one sitting. It’s a story that is colorful, especially lively, and Mark is an immensely creative and powerful storyteller. It was probably the first of the four gospels to be written, during a period of persecution, around 65 C.E., when the idea “taking up your cross” and following Jesus was a very real possibility. It explores the theme of discipleship. Each week, we will work our way through the book, taking an incident from various chapters to listen to the voice of Jesus calling us to believe the good news of the gospel and follow him in the life of discipleship.
Dr. Ken Roxburgh
Pastor for Preaching and Teaching
Leaving on July 1st, several Southside members, family and friends will travel for 8 days around Scotland. They will be led by our very own Dr. Ken Roxburgh. Keep these travelers in your prayers as they fellowship together abroad. We look forward to seeing some great photos and hearing some great stories!
Here are a few things taking place at Southside Baptist this week. Dr. Roxburgh completes a four session study on the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi this evening at the midweek service. This has been a great study of a text that reminds us and encourages us to consider that no matter what is going on in the world, or even in our individual lives, there is cause to give thanks and rejoice for the wondrous works of God. This last session will focus on chapter four of Philippians in which Paul exhorts and gives thanks to those in Philippi who have prayed for him and supported him in his current circumstances. This study will follow the weekly Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time which begins at 5:30 p.m.
If you need a few quiet moments to pull away from the hectic pace of a work week, then join us Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. for our Contemplative Service. It is a special time for many to pray, listen, reflect and celebrate together in the presence and fellowship of one another and the spirit of Christ.
Friday evening, we have the privilege of hosting a special concert in the Sanctuary. Southside Centre for Arts and Humanities is coordinating this event which will include the UAB and Southside Baptist Choirs, Orchestra of the Highlands, and will feature two Martinson Scholar soloists.
Plan to attend these events if your schedule permits, and enjoy great times of worship, growth and fellowship.
Students, teachers and administrators return to school this week to begin a new academic year, and similarly, we, too, begin anew with opportunities for education, worship, missions, service and fellowship at Southside Baptist Church. Thinking of the opportunities to nurture relationships, deepen our understanding of our faith and how that faith intersects with all parts of our individual lives creates an excitement and enthusiasm that lifts our spirit. It is especially evident when we begin anew after a respite or vacation. There are a number of new opportunities that you will hear about in the coming weeks, but in the mean time, we resume our Wednesday schedule of the weekly fellowship meal, prayer and Bible study. This week, Dr. Roxburgh will lead a Bible study and discussion on The Missional Church using the book of Acts as the text. Following the Bible study, the Sanctuary Choir will rehearse in the Martinson Choir room. Sarah Heaslett and Dr. Banks are making an appeal to all of those singers in our congregation to join them for this time of preparation for Sunday Worship.
The Contemplative Worship Service is conducted each Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. This service is structured around the reading of Scripture and prayer. It is a wonderful way to spend a half hour near the end of the work week affording the opportunity to put all of the demands of our life out of mind, while we focus on the truly important matters.
Join us Wednesday as we begin anew, refreshed and renewed, eager to engage again.
The news reports of the horrific incident in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday morning that left 49 young adults from the LBGT community dead evoked a broad range of responses from people across the country and around the world. Many of us with friends and family that are part of this community felt an immediate visceral response as we grasped for answers to questions of: Who would do this? Why? How? The hours following the first reports provided only partial answers at best which, when coupled with the steady stream of stories of good information mixed with misinformation, added layers of frustration to the heaviness and sorrow we were already experiencing. We want answers to those questions that are continuously cycling through our minds, hoping answers will come; however, there are some things we already know. We know there are families and friends grieving the loss of loved ones, others sitting bedside in hospital rooms with family members clinging to life as they hope and pray that the physical and emotional wounds will heal. Intensified fears in the minds of many people have increased levels of anxiety in families and communities. How do we, as people of faith, respond to acts of terror and the aftermath left in its wake? Hopefully, our first response has been to pray for the families of those who lost loved ones and for healing of those injured. As followers of Jesus, we are taught to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us even though this is a difficult, sometimes impossible, task. We should pray for ourselves and for those who do not yet know the experience of God the Creator of all life and the source of peace that passes all human understanding. May it be so.
This evening Dr. Roxburgh begins a study of the “Missional Church” especially as it is depicted in the Book of Acts. You will want to be present and participate in this study and discussion. Our Fellowship Supper starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by Prayer Time at 6:00 p.m. The time of study begins at 6:15 p.m.