Today in our online gathering, we begin a new series of reflections on the vocabulary of faith. We’ll be exploring words, concepts and ideas that have long been part of our religious language, seeking to understand what they mean for us today.
We begin this morning with the word salvation.
In the first video Carolyn leads us in a reflection, and in the second video we offer words of prayer for the world and ourselves.
Traditionally, Eastertide is a period of 50 days that runs from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. That makes this Sunday the sixth of the Easter season, and so we continue the celebration of life in Jesus Christ.
Today we have two videos for you to watch and participate in.
The first continues our reflections on ‘some words that changed my life’ and includes contributions from Mark Holt, Stefanie Pearce and Sherry Maddock.
The second video includes a beautiful call to worship and a reading from the New Testament letter to the Romans, as well as a hymn and words of blessing.
The videos for this fifth Sunday of the Easter season are provided below.
The first video includes two reflections in our series on ‘some words that changed my life.’ The second video includes readings and prayers with a focus on the work of world mission through our Baptist agency Global Interaction.
Be assured of our prayers for you as we engage together through these resources. May you find encouragement in your faith and a sense of connection with our community.
Our two videos for this fourth Sunday of the Easter season are posted below. The first video features reflections from two members of our community on ‘some words that changed my life.’ The second video includes prayers and readings from the Green Room.
There is a force in nature called “geotropism.” It simply means the movement of plant parts deeper into the earth. Dictated by gravity, the very end of a plant’s roots grows in a downward direction. Botanists consider this an impulse of faithfulness to the Earth. Inescapable, apparently no matter what you do to a plant within Earth’s atmosphere, this active, peculiar force will drive roots to grow down. To quote from my favourite book at the moment, a book on the ontology of plants, “Roots are the essence of descent” (Coccia, The life of Plants).
Plants are firmly situated (otherwise known as sessile) and in their immobility, they both collect the energy of sunshine and remain steady when storms come. This impulse of downward descent is instinctive and unfailing. What a relief to know it is at work beneath the Earth’s surface and the natural world responds obediently to its dictates. By way of science, I’m given a definition and an image of anchored life. An invisible force is elucidated, and I am comforted. What this means to me is there is a way to be held in place, especially in the midst of unavoidable chaos.
As a foreigner, permanently living overseas, in a global pandemic, I’ve had to grapple with the far-awayness of the familiar and the nature of my new home, now a place I can’t leave even if I wanted to. Whether I am ready or not, my roots need to descend and find locations of greater depth to hold me here. The territory is unfamiliar but knowing this steadying force of belonging to a place is at work in the world brings me peace. In yet another way, plants lead me and teach me about mysterious truth and help me return to my place with a creaturely calm. By universal design, descent is elemental and natural and good.
Collins Street Baptist Church