Downtown Augusta Mural Guide

This year has been difficult to say the least. Redemption Church started holding our worship gatherings solely online on March 15th. In August, we made the difficult decision to not hold our regular Sunday worship gatherings throughout the Fall. We have missed one another, and we have missed gathering to worship, serve, and fellowship together deeply. 

So, although we can’t gather in our traditional sense this season, we have started a weekly rhythm of gathering for communion, fellowship, and serving that we are calling Sundays on the Porch. This compliments our weekly Home Worship Guide which is found on our website each week and continues to host our worship through music, prayer, and preaching. 

Each week we wash our hands, put on our masks, and gather on our porch at 930 Broad Street in downtown Augusta for a walk-through liturgy. We then send the church into the neighborhood with some way to get to know or serve our city together.

Last week we decided to take a downtown mural tour together. Augusta is blessed with many talented artists whose paintings have been popping up on buildings all over downtown. They are stunning to look at and fun to take pictures with. But what I love about these many creations most is that our neighbors made them, and their creations reveal the passions, dreams, and heart of people who live, work, learn, and play alongside us everyday. 

I encourage you to go see these murals for yourself. We made an Augusta Mural Guide to help you take your own tour. 

What I see in many of these paintings is a love for Augusta. I hope they serve to inspire us all with a love for this place and for the people, the image bearers of God, who live here.

Why We Say Black Lives Matter

This week we put up a new installation in our window on Broad St (pictured above) depicting a crowd of protestors with signs in the air. There are several Bible verses on the signs, and there is a banner across the top that says “Let Justice Roll,” which is taken from Amos 5:24. One of the signs affirms the truth that Black lives matter, because they really do, and Christians ought to stand up and say it and act accordingly.

For Christians, we should recognize the biblical truth that every person, regardless of their skin color, is created in the likeness of God and has intrinsic value. It is for this reason that we affirm the statement that Black lives matter. Jamar Tisby writes in The Color of Compromise, a book I highly recommend, “Black lives matter does not mean that only Black lives matter; it means that Black lives matter too. Given the racist patterns of devaluing black lives in America’s past, it is not obvious to many black people that everyone values black life.”

The phrase Black lives matter rose from the anguish and lament over the repeated unjust killing of Black people across our nation. Much like the recent rallying cry of I can’t breathe over the murder of George Floyd, Black lives matter became an expression that united protesters who were demanding justice for those who had been murdered and for the correction of the systemic oppression that was leading to their deaths. You probably know the names of some of those who have fallen; Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Water Scott, Jamar Cook, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice. There are many more.

As the expression gained traction, the Black Lives Matter organization was founded to continue to push for change on several issues. It is not a faith based movement, and they advocate for things that stand in direct conflict with the church. This has caused many Christians to directly oppose not only the organization but the phrase itself.

Jemar Tisby notes that while many Christians oppose the organization and what it stands for “the American evangelical church has yet to form a movement as viable and potent that addresses the necessary concept that Black lives do indeed matter.” The result is that we stay silent, or we change the language to All lives matter, which is actually incredibly dismissive and beside the point.

Pastor and author Thabiti Anyabwile wrote about this tension on his Twitter account last month:

I believe that it is critical that we start digging into what is really underneath White Christian’s inability to say the words. Why do we have such trouble affirming the truth of the statement Black lives matter with a full stop? Do we really not recognize that built into the statement is a question of when Black lives will matter to White people specifically? I don’t believe that it is because there is an organization we disagree with that has that name. I believe there is more to it, and I believe we all have a lot of work that needs to be done on our racist hearts. I also believe that God is merciful and gracious and good enough to do it.

We often say that we want to be a church that makes the real Jesus known by being honest about our failures, loving the way Jesus loves, serving the city for the good of all, and inviting everybody into the family of God. We’ve been praying for diversity in our congregation as well. If that is really who we want to be, if it is really our heart’s desire, then we who are White can and should be very mindful of our tendency toward White supremacy that would have us believe that we get to change the language and terms before we can tell somebody that they are loved and cherished and valuable before God and to us in the language they are speaking.

In Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus says “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (ESV). Could we be guilty of combing through the Black Lives Matter statements and beliefs in order to correct the speck in the eye of our crying brothers and sisters while we ignore the log of White supremacy that is in our own?

Now, I know that displaying the words Black lives matter in the church window alongside Scripture and the newer rallying cry of I can’t breathe might be challenging to some. That is okay. We can be challenged. We can talk about it with one another. We can prayerfully examine ourselves and ask God to expose and heal the sin and idolatry of racism and White supremacy that is in us. We can even, after doing such work, speak on our disagreements with the Black Lives Matter organization. What we cannot do is refuse to answer the cries of oppressed image bearers of God in their own language, nor can we continue to stay silent.

During this season of not gathering on Sunday mornings for worship, I’ve been personally convicted by how God tells His people repeatedly not to bring sacrifices, sing songs, or do any of the normal gathered worship things until they “cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression” (Isaiah 1:16-17, ESV). Jesus says in Matthew 5:23-24 that “if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (ESV). My prayer is, then, that we would take this moment of not gathering and purpose it to listen, recognize, pray, and act in a way that is glorifying our God as we learn to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God?” (Micah 6:8, ESV).

Resources to Help You Listen, Recognize, Pray, & Act


Children’s Books




Other Resources

Check back as we will be adding to these resources in the coming weeks.

Day 7 – Humility in the Death and Waiting

Luke 23:50-56 ESV

Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.

On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.


Humility in the Death and Waiting

Jesus died, and was fully dead. He was wrapped in a fresh linen shroud and laid in the tomb. His followers, certainly still in shock, grief stricken, and exhausted, prepared spices and ointments for His burial and then retired and rested according to the Sabbath commandment. Their plan was to come back early on the first day of the week to finish their work with what they had prepared (Luke 24:1). However, for the moment, their work was disrupted by a rhythm that God put in place.

In Exodus 31:17, God spoke to Moses concerning the Sabbath saying, “It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed’” (ESV). That day of rest was a perpetual reminder that in all of their work and efforts they couldn’t accomplish what God accomplished. It was God who made them. It was God who set them free from slavery. It was God who would make them a nation. And it was God who would ultimately deliver on His promises to bless the nations through them. The Sabbath was a reminder that they could rest because “He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4, ESV). 

A state of emergency seems to mean a season of unknowns and canceled plans. One day I was working on plans for our Easter service, the next I was making plans for what church services would look like for a congregation confined to their homes for weeks. Some have had to cancel vacations and special events. Many have lost a job or suffered financially. How can you stop to rest when everything you’ve worked for has slipped away? 

The humility of Jesus in His death and waiting exhibits a better rest. On the cross, Jesus spoke His last, saying, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46, ESV). In keeping with the sign of the Sabbath, Jesus humbly gave His life and His work over to the Father, and fully rested in His arms. We may not always know what tomorrow brings, but we can rest today in the proven goodness of our God who doesn’t sleep. 


Prayerfully consider these few questions:

  1. What deprives you of sleep or seems too important to put down? Have you rested from it? Could you use a time to be refreshed?
  2. How does the good news of Jesus prove that God can be trusted?
  3. How does the good news of Jesus refresh your soul?

Day 6 – Humility in Dying

Matthew 27:27-54

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders,mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”


Humility in Dying

The cross was an extremely well known and feared execution tactic in the Roman Empire. It was more than being put to death, it was torture of the worst kind. Executioners would tie a cross beam to the back of the condemned and make them carry it to the place of execution. Once arrived, as with Jesus, they would often nail them to the beam, attach it to a riser, and hoist them into the air. Shockwaves of pain would shoot through the body as their nerves bore their weight on the nails. It was a slow agonizing death that ended in eventual suffocation. 

Jesus endured this in His dying, but there was more. He was mocked, scorned, ridiculed, and taunted every step of the way. They posted a sign above His head that read “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews” (Matt. 27:37, ESV). A crown of thorns was placed on His head that dug into His skull, and they mockingly bowed to Him as king. Some watched and jeered Him, telling Him to save Himself if He was really the Son of God. Jesus bore it all; the beating, the torture, the utter hate, and He prayed “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34, ESV).

I can sometimes sacrifice a little of myself for somebody I love without saying a word. Maybe I can give up some rest in order to help a friend out or pass up something I want in order to buy something for my wife or kids. However, if I sacrifice something only to be mocked by the very person I am doing it for, staying quiet and humble gets exponentially more difficult. My ability to “look not only to [my] own interests, but also to the interests of others” decreases significantly (Philippian 2:4, ESV). It’s possible that my motivations are often more about getting high on my own self righteousness than truly loving somebody else. 

Paul writes in Romans 5:7-8, “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (ESV). Jesus suffered so much pain in the face of hate. He certainly could have shown those who sought to humiliate Him the truth of His identity with some awesome display of power, but He didn’t. That Jesus died for His enemies with such a quiet humility is truly astonishing.

The humility of Jesus in dying on the cross is the ultimate love. Jesus didn’t die for those who proved they loved Him enough. Jesus gave His life to prove His great love for those who mocked, ridiculed, and scorned Him. 1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (ESV). The good news on this Good Friday is that He really is the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world, and that He died for you and me because He loves us with an ultimate love. 


Prayerfully consider these few questions:

  1. What if somebody, who was considered high risk for dying from COVID-19, mocked you for sacrificing your social life and financial loss in an effort to not spread the virus? Would you keep quiet? 
  2. How does your own sin mock the sacrifice of Jesus in a similar way?
  3. Jesus loves you and humbly died to forgive your sin. How does His love free you to love others?

Day 5 – Humility in Washing the Disciples’ Feet

John 13:1-17 ESV

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 


Humility in Serving

Disciples would serve their teachers by taking on many of the duties of a slave in Jewish tradition, but they didn’t wash their feet. That job was left for actual slaves. Foot washing in the first century was a very lowly job. The places that people walked were muddy and littered with animal droppings and other filth. Wearing nothing more than sandals left feet caked in the dirt and grime from the road. It was a dirty job, so Jesus humbly laid aside His outer garment, and then He scrubbed the feet of His disciples.

It makes sense that Peter, as a disciple of Jesus, protested the idea of his Teacher serving him in such a lowly way. He wouldn’t have washed the feet of Jesus, how could he let Jesus do it for him? His Teacher, though, insisted saying, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Peter, who was always zealous if not overly so, responded, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” (John 13:9, ESV).

Jesus taught the disciples by way of example that nobody is greater than another. If ever they thought that a job was beneath them or that they should be served by others, they were to remember what Jesus did. Jesus, who was God in the flesh, their Teacher and Lord, “took the form of a servant” and washed their feet (Phil. 2:7). This, then, is the type of humble ministry they were called to also. 

In the midst of a global pandemic, when we are washing our germ infested hands constantly and staying away from one another so as not to spread a virus, I can’t help but think about the doctors and nurses and others who are humbly risking infection themselves to care for us all. On the other hand, there are those who, for a plethora of reasons, cannot understand or abide by the many mandated social restrictions on their life for the sake of the many.   

    The humility of Jesus exemplifies the better blessing of serving others. Jesus laid aside His outer garment to wash the disciples feet. Then, as John 13:1 says, “he loved them to the end” by laying down His life to cleanse their hearts from sin (ESV). In all of this He led the disciples to follow His lead and share with Him in the ministry of reconciliation. What He did for them He has also done for us. If we let Him wash us, we too can experience the true freedom of laying aside our own pride to humbly serve for the good of all. 


Prayerfully consider these few questions:

  1. How does a threat to your status, safety, freedom, or otherwise, make it difficult for you to serve others?
  2. Consider how Jesus humbly laid aside everything to serve you and the world. In what way did He lay aside the very thing that causes you to wince?
  3. How is His way of laying yourself aside to serve others a better blessing for you and the world?


Day 2 – Humility in Cleansing the Temple

Mark 11:15-19 ESV

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. And when evening came they went out of the city.


Humility in Cleansing the Temple

After Jesus’s triumphal entry, He entered the temple and seemingly started throwing His weight around as He drove people out and threw over the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those selling pigeons for sacrifices. Why did Jesus do these things, and where is His humility found in it?

It is helpful to know that this whole scene would have taken place in the outer court of the temple, which was the space that was set aside for gentiles to pray. It was a place created for outsiders to join in with the people of God, but it was being used as a market for insiders to buy and sell sacrifices. As a result, outsiders were displaced and turned away so that they couldn’t worship God in the temple. 

Have you ever heard a friend or family member make a racial slur in an otherwise congenial moment? Have you felt the tension rise within you as you try to discern whether standing up for people who aren’t present is worth creating conflict with those who are? If so, then you know that often in moments like that, a prideful agenda will keep you silent while a humble agenda will open your mouth. 

Jesus went into the temple as an insider and made quite the ruckus. He was standing up to those inside for those who had been kept outside. When Jesus spoke, He quoted both Isaiah and Jeremiah saying,“‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” In this, Jesus revealed His heart for the nations and His humble agenda. God’s people were actively setting up barriers to keep the nations out, but Jesus came to bring the nations into the family of God by giving His life for them. 

The humility of Jesus bears a better agenda than that of the world. Jesus stood up for justice at the risk of upsetting the influential, and in His humble agenda He would become an outsider and lay down His life to make room for everybody in the family of God. The good news for us is that if Jesus came for the foreigner and the outcast, then He came for you and me. 


Prayerfully consider these few questions:

  1. Whether you realized you were or not, have you ever used Jesus for your own agenda? In what ways do you think you are most likely to do so?
  2. How does seeing the humble agenda of Jesus speak to who you are? How does it speak to who others are?
  3. Paul calls us to have the mindset of Christ among ourselves (Phil 2:5). How does that inform who you reach out to and who you stand in defense of?


Resources for Lent

Lent begins this Wednesday, February 26th. Lent is a 40 day period of fasting, prayer and devotion towards remembering our brokenness and God’s work of redemption through the person and work of Jesus Christ. We want to help you to enter into this season together prayerfully by providing a few recommended resources that can help guide you through the season.


Living Through Dying: A Six Week Community Guide Through Lent -​ Brad Watson

In Living Through Dying you will read the Psalms, discuss the themes of Lent, and practice the spiritual disciplines of fasting, confession, praise, and lament as a community. Each week your community will be looking to Jesus, looking inwardly at his or her own heart, and looking outwardly in what it means to live in light of the gospel. This is an opportunity to re-center your community on the gospel of Jesus.

God is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter​ – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“​These forty stirring devotions​ will guide and inspire readers as they move thematically through the weeks of Lent and Easter, encountering themes of prayerful reflection, self-denial, temptation, suffering, and the meaning of the cross. Passages from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letters and sermons provide special encouragement as readers prepare themselves spiritually for Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Supplemented by an informative introduction to Bonhoeffer’s life and a Scripture passage for each day of the season, these daily devotions are moving reminders of the true gift of Christ on the cross.”

 Lenten Devotionals – Redeemer Presbyterian Church

“In 2011 Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York published ​40 Lenten Devotions​ written by a variety of authors including Kathy Keller. Due to popular demand over successive years, RPC has continued to make the devotions available to help their people ‘prepare their hearts for Easter.”

This devotional material is available through the ​You Version Bible app.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Lent Guide – Sally Lloyd-Jones

This guide includes:

  • A Letter to Friends (big and little) from Sally
  • A paper chain reading plan template, counting the 40 days of Lent
  • A reading plan calendar, with a corresponding chapter from The Jesus Storybook Bible to read each day
  • Coloring pages from the Jesus Storybook Bible Coloring Book, illustrated by Jago


Resources for Advent 2017

Have you planned how you’ll spend time celebrating the good news of Jesus this Advent season?

We want to help you engage this season intentionally, before it slips away.

Over the next several weeks we will be preaching through Colossians in our new series, Good News of Great Joy. We will also sing, light Advent candles, and read through the story of Christ’s first coming together. 

Beyond that, we would encourage you to spend a few minutes making a plan now to intentionally slow down and savor the goodness of Jesus though this season.


Advent Community Guide

This new guide from Saturate provides one devotional reading for each week of Advent, and one for Christmas Day. This resource can be used as a devotion for families or in gospel communities on mission. Each devotion contains a passage of Scripture, a brief reflection on that passage, sample prayers to guide the prayers of children and adults, and hymns to sing together to give voice to your praises and longings.

This resource coincides with the incarnation stories in The Jesus Storybook Bible. Coloring sheets for each week are available.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Advent Guide

A guided journey of wonder through The Jesus Storybook Bible tracing the beautiful story of God’s great love for us–from the very beginnings of the universe, to the birth of the baby who would rescue the whole world. This guide includes: a reading guide, printable ornaments, and activity ideas.

Desiring God

Desiring God has several great daily Advent devotionals and resources that aim to put Jesus at the center of your holiday season. 

Come Lord Jesus Come: A Devotional for Advent

This is a free resource by Nathan Sherman and Will Walker that contains daily devotions built around four themes, one for each week of advent; hope, peace, joy, and love.

Come Let Us Adore Him

Paul Tripp seeks to recapture our attention and reawaken our awe during Christmastime. Each day is structured like Tripp’s best-selling devotional, New Morning Mercies‚ with a compelling, gospel-centered thought followed by an extended meditation for the day. Each of the thirty-one devotions also includes a Scripture reading and notes for parents and children, equipping us to do the one thing that matters most each December — celebrate Jesus.

Advent Conspiracy

Check out the Advent Conspiracy website to read through the four tenants; worship fully, spend less, give more, love all. Browse through the site for a family devotional along with other ideas on how to engage this season with intentionality.