• Will Spink
    Senior Pastor
  • Wyketa Shipman
    Executive Assistant
  • Ron Clegg
    Associate Pastor, Discipleship
  • Shannon Clark
    Administrative Assistant
  • James Parker
    Chief Musician
  • Peter Render
    Assistant Pastor, Youth/Families
  • Christine Betts
    Assistant Director, Youth/Families
  • Ty Commons
    Youth & Families Intern
  • Kim Delchamps
    Administrative Assistant
  • Derrick Harris
    Assistant Pastor, Shepherding & Young Families
  • Angela Sierk
    Director, Children's Ministry
  • Niña Banta Cash
    Director, Nursery
  • Robert Blevins
    Director, Community Development
  • Janice Crowson
    Director, Facilities/Finance
  • Daniel Brown
    Print & Digital Media Specialist
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Essential Remembering

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. 2:1, ESV

Anniversaries are wonderful things.  Wedding anniversaries provide opportunities for nostalgic walks back through the years to see how love has grown through great fun times as well as the periods of struggle.  Those of us who are in Christ can see how God’s faithfulness has been displayed in our relationships even when we could not see it at the moment.  Southwood’s celebration of 30 years of God’s faithfulness as a church is also a wonderful thing, in that it allows us to look back on how we have seen the hand of God at work in and through us.  As much fun as it is to look back at pictures of outdated fashions and hair styles and remember those who have come and gone, such remembering is also critical for us as we look to the future.

We are rightly taught that it is not good to live in the past.  Paul even says in Philippians, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Phil.3:13). It is true that we are not to “live” in our past, though many of us do.  Some reminisce about bygone days of better times.  Others are enslaved by guilt from past mistakes.  Both ways of looking at the past can be very unhealthy.  That said, a healthy Christian has a strong memory.  The Christian life is three dimensional when it comes to time, and when the past is forgotten or disregarded, we will struggle to stand in the present with hope towards the future.

In 2 Timothy 2:1, Paul tells Timothy to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”  What does he mean by that?  It means remembering what Christ has done for us.  Later in verse 8, he commands Timothy to “remember” Christ and His resurrection.  In space and time Jesus died to atone for our sin and was then physically and bodily raised from the dead.  That event fulfilled exactly what He promised He would do.  That is the past aspect of faith.  Now in the present, when we remember how He was raised from the dead, we can have confidence that his other promises for current help and future blessing are also good.  Remembering also tells me who I am now.  My identity as a believer is now in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus my Savior.  Who I am now was determined unequivocally in what Christ did for me back in time.  Being in Christ means I possess all that is his, both now and for the future.  I am now the object of the Father’s love and delight just as Christ is.  I can never be separated from that love, as He cannot be.  Remembering is critical for living in the present and having hope for the future.

So, when I face the choice of either caving in to the world or standing firm in faith, even though such a choice would bring me hardship or pain, I must remember.  I must remember the resurrection which guarantees Jesus’ promises to be with me in this life.  I must remember how His promises have been shown to be true all through my life. Especially when I am in a hard place, I must remember what He did then, so that I can know He will be everything I need now.  His work for me in the past guarantees that I can trust Him now and tomorrow.  I can confidently trust that His promise of eternity in joyful communion with Him is sure.  In confidence I will walk faithfully in the moment as I wait for that coming day.

We don’t know what the next 30 years have in store for Southwood.  We could not have predicted the last 30 years.  We do know that as we remember the ways our King has shown His faithfulness over these years, we have a great future in store.  So, in this anniversary celebration remember well, and have hope that He “will be with (us), even to the end of the age.”