Welcome to the historic First Baptist Church of Memphis, serving Memphis & the Mid-South since 1839. You will find exciting ministries, mission opportunities, and vibrant worship.

Sunday Mornings:

9:30am Sunday School
11:00am Worship

Wednesday Evenings:

5:00pm Dinner
6:00pm Bible Study

200 East Parkway North, Memphis, TN 38112 ⋅ Office: 901.454.1131



A God Who Dares

The question “What if?”, when applied to the past, can at times be much fun, at other times pure trouble.  At times it can be interesting, intriguing to wonder how things could have, would have been different had things happened differently, had different choices been made.  And when we apply such questions to God, or what we believe about God, of course, we’ve entered a vast territory of limitless possibilities.

But, one of the convictions of traditional Christianity is that in the beginning, God chose to create.  God did not have to create, but God chose to do so anyway.  Furthermore God chose to give humanity and creation free will, meaning that they could choose to do and act and think in ways that were productive and constructive and life giving…or not.  God could have just as easily made creation to be a puppet of God’s will, but instead God gave us free will.  And then, when humanity rebelled against God, God could have said enough with all of this and wiped it all out. But instead, God refused to give up on us and kept coming to us offering repentance and redemption and reconciliation.  And then when God’s prophets were only partially successful in bringing humanity back, God chose to get personally involved, by coming to us in the person of Jesus Christ.  Again, God could have chosen to remain high and lifted up, continuing to work as best one can from a distance, but instead God came to be with us in our suffering and pain and death to show the depth of His love for us, and to personally invite us to be a part of the building of the Kingdom of God.  God dares to do all of this for you and for me.

Well, as Newton would teach us in Science, for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action, and the same is true in relationships.  Every time someone takes an action toward us and for us, it calls forth a response within us.  Obviously had God not created us, we would not be able to choose at all.  And the same would be the case had we not been given free will. But given that those are true, and the fact that God refuses to give up on us, that by God’s grace forgiveness and redemption and service in the Kingdom of God are still possibilities for us…God’s daring activity for us, dares us to respond.   And such will be our theme for Advent.

  • Advent 1 is Dare to Expect.  The apocalyptic texts of this day remind us that we can expect more than we could ever imagine, from God and from ourselves.  
  • Advent 2 is Dare to Hope.  Life can weigh so heavy that despair looms large.  Christ’s coming gives us cause to keep hope alive.  
  • Advent 3 is Dare to Believe.  Isaiah writes of being ransomed and redeemed.  Dare we believe such is possible for us and for our world?  
  • Advent 4 is Dare to Trust.  Our world can be a scary place.  Fear cannot only be ever present, but crippling.  In coming to be with us, Jesus showed God to be worthy of our trust and modeled for us what it means to be faithful, rather than fearful.  
  • And Christmas Eve, based on all of the above, we will Dare to Change, ourselves and this world.

So, this Advent, dare to follow the lead of our God, who dares to come and redeem and restore and bring hope.  Come and be present and consider what it would mean for you to Dare to Expect, Hope, Trust, Believe, Change.  See you soon!

Grace, David

This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the December edition of Together.

Posted by Bridget Ellis at 6:00 AM
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200 East Parkway North, Memphis TN 38112
Office: 901.454.1131 ⋅ Fax: 901.454.1135
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