Picnics and Panorama

Summer is an opportunity to slow down and reflect. Taking meals outside to relish the gratuitous, abundant beauty of God’s handiwork in creation gives us fodder for a storehouse of thankfulness throughout the year. This was our aim this summer for the women at Grace, to reflect on God’s word from the Sunday sermons and to take a grand view of our triune God in our discussion of the book Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves.

The most important question we tried to answer around the picnic table was, “What does this tell us about God’s character?” From Dave Patty's message on Ephesians  6:18-20, we nibbled on the truth that God delights to hear and answer prayer. God the Spirit is our helper when it comes to prayer with promptings and words to proclaim the gospel of grace. The following weeks we discussed the sermons on 1 Samuel noting how God’s method of warfare is vastly different from the world. David joins with God in holy war using music! Quite a different military strategy! We also chewed on the insight of Jesus being our “federal representative.” We digested the concept that God is in control of our enemies who want to destroy us and dismiss us. These are just a few of the delightful delectables we feasted on in our discussions.

Delighting in the Trinity, a must read for all, gave us a large-scale view of our Triune God. “For what makes Christianity absolutely distinct is the identity of our God...the Trinity is the governing center of all Christian belief,” says Reeves. He goes on to compare and contrast our Triune God with the one person gods. Because he is Father, Son, and Spirit, he is loving. What God was doing before creation gives us a glimpse of this. Jesus said in John 17:24, “Father, you loved me before the creation of the world.” It was this love of the Father for the Son that is the overflowing fountain from which the creation came to be. God is always outflowing, giving, and doing so out of love for the Son. This love is what Jesus shares with us, “In order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 16:25-26). If God were a single-person god, he would be a selfish, needy tyrant. Because there is no one for him to love, he needs to create us to love him, and his role is more like a police officer than a loving Father. With this understanding as our backdrop, we discovered how this affects our understanding of creation, salvation, and the Christian life to which we have been called. “Who among the gods is like you, LORD?” (Exodus 15:11).

Please pray that the time that the women spend together studying God’s word will develop us into a community of believers that bear much fruit as we live and proclaim the gospel with authenticity and passion.