Jesus produced some lasting lines during his days here on earth. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” (By the way – interpretive moment – everything actually belongs to God.) “This is my body broken for you.” “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move mountains.” “You are the light of the world.” “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” “Do not judge lest you be judged.” “No one can serve two masters.” And of course, there are many others.
But what if Jesus had been born in the south… you know… our south? I wonder what pithy phrases might have inhabited his speech? The Sermon on the Mount might have been filled with expressions like: ‘that dog won’t hunt,’ ‘if his lips are moving, he’s lying,’ ‘this ain’t my first rodeo,’ and ‘he’s running around like a chicken with its head cut off.’ Yep. The teaching of Jesus would have sounded a lot different if he’d been laid in a manger in rural South Carolina.
Our annual church retreat will be held March 1-3, 2019, and our theme is ‘Bless Your Heart.’ Rather than travel, we will gather at Greenville’s Westin Poinsett Hotel downtown for a weekend of inspiration, laughter, and great music. (Rooms are available at a ‘retreat rate’ if you want to make a staycation of the weekend.) Children’s activities will be planned at the AYMC so you can drop them off and enjoy your time of retreat downtown. I will be exploring the stories of Jesus from a ‘particularly southern point of view’ while singer/songwriter Kate Campbell delights us with her classics (Funeral Food, Jesus and Tomatoes, Crazy in Alabama) and songs from her new album ‘Damn Sure Blue.’ The retreat will kick off with a Friday night party at the Westin featuring Cappuccino Funk. Sessions will be held Saturday morning and afternoon. The retreat will end on Sunday morning in the sanctuary of First Baptist. For more details and registration, log into: firstbaptistgreenville.com/churchwideretreat/ or call the church office. See you there… and bless your heart.