FBC Macon

Nurture. Love. Serve. ALL.

We’re proud of our Baptist history and heritage, but we’re also proud of our diversity. At First Baptist you will find a group of people coming from a variety of different church backgrounds and denominations who have found a home at the “top of Poplar.” And while our congregation comes from all over middle Georgia, we are a downtown church and see it is our mission to be the presence of Christ to our InTown and College Hill communities here in Macon.

The History of Christmas

There are two major theories for how the church landed on December 25 as the date to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The first theory is known as the “Computation Theory,” and “computes” the day of Jesus’ birth from the day he was believed to have been crucified, which was March 25. In ancient times it was believed that important figures in history lived literally “complete” lives, meaning that they would die on the same day they had been conceived. Believing that Jesus died on March 25, they thus believed this was the date in which he had been conceived, and so working forward nine months they arrived at December 25 as the date of Jesus’ birth. Simple math!

The second theory, which is perhaps more well-known, is known as the “History of Religions” theory. In this theory, December 25 was chosen because of its proximity to the pagan holiday celebrating Sol Invictus, the “Invincible Sun.” By the 4th century (around the time we first hear of Christmas), Sol, the sun god, had become the chief god of the Roman Empire.

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Waiting

In his novel Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis tells this story,

“One morning…I discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree, just as the butterfly was making a hole in the case preparing to come out. I waited a while, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. The case opened, the butterfly started slowly crawling out and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were folded back and crumbled; the wretched butterfly tried with its whole body to unfold them. Bending over it I tried to help it with my breath. In vain.

It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. My breath had forced the butterfly to appear all crumpled, before its time. It struggled desperately and, a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand.

That little body is, I do believe, the greatest weight I have on my conscience. For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the eternal rhythm.”

It is a tribute to the wisdom of the Christian tradition that we begin our yearly journey together in a season dedicated to waiting. 

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Christ the King

Yesterday was Christ the King Sunday in the wider church, though I’d forgive you if you weren’t aware—it’s not a holy day we lift up with consistency. We do typically mark this Sunday as the final one in the Christian Year, with this upcoming Sunday being the First Sunday of Advent and the start of a whole new year together. If the gravitational pull of Advent and Christmas wasn’t enough, this Sunday tends to fall around Thanksgiving, which risks it being even more lost in the shuffle. And yet in some ways the whole Christian year, which traces the life of Jesus and the early church, led us to yesterday’s service.

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Practicing Gratitude

“Three Gratitudes,” by Carrie Newcomer

Every night before I go to sleep

I say out loud

Three things that I'm grateful for,

All the significant, insignificant

Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.

It's a small practice and humble,

And yet, I find I sleep better

Holding what lightens and softens my life

Ever so briefly at the end of the day.

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A Theology of Veterans Day

One of the best emails I receive each week comes from SALT Project, a nonprofit organization founded by some of my former divinity school professors and colleagues that creates artistic resources to help congregations “tell their story.” They also provide a fantastic weekly lectionary commentary and other occasional pieces. We used their Lenten devotional highlighting the poetry of Mary Oliver this past year.

Their notes this week on the “theology” of Veterans Day were so good I want to share them with you in their entirety.

To see more from SALT or sign up for their weekly emails, go to www.saltproject.org.

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What it Means to Remember

The first Sunday in November is always a special Sunday here at First Baptist. We celebrate it first as “All Saints’ Sunday,” a holy day in the larger church that remembers and celebrates all those saints of the church who’ve come before and whose lives still touch us. Here at First Baptist, we focus our attention especially on all those from our congregation who have “gone home” over the course of the past year.

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Hopes and Fears

“My hope—and my fear—is that I’ll feel responsible.”

This was the response of one of our members two Friday evenings ago when a group of us met with some friends from First Baptist Church on New St. to prepare for our pilgrimage to Montgomery, Alabama.

We would leave the next morning to embark on this journey to experience some of the Civil Rights cites there, highlighted by a trip to the newly opened National Memorial for Peace and Justice. This stirring memorial, which opened earlier this year, was built to honor the over 4,000 known victims of lynching in America and the untold number of other victims of racial violence in this country. 

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Home

In his book, The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead tells the gut-wrenching story of Cora, a runaway slave, making her way to freedom. At one point in the novel she happens upon a commune that is operated by a group of African Americans, some free and some runaway. The motto of the farm is “Stay, and contribute,” an invitation she received as an almost miraculous inversion of the planation law from which she had run.

Stay: find rest, fill your belly, settle your spirit. 

But when you are ready, contribute: find your place, lend a hand, be a part of that which  sustains you. Be an agent in your own recovery.

This invitation is as close as the novel gets to defining one of its key themes, that elusive place that is always so much more than a place: home.

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WEEKLY SERVICES

Sunday
Sunday School at 9:45am
Morning Worship at 11:00am

Wednesday Evening
We begin with a meal at 5:30pm. Music and missions activities are available for adults, youth, and kids. Learn More

 

CONTACT US

511 High Place
Macon, GA 31201
Directions to FBCX

Telephone: 1.478.742.6485

Email: office@fbcxmacon.org


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