And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, Hebrews 10:24
Yesterday, we had a “Day of Prayer and Fasting.” In one sense, this was a solo operation. Pray by yourself. Meditate on God’s Word by yourself. Decide not to eat by yourself. But in another sense it was a community effort. My heart warmed when I saw my computer screen full of faces in real time. We were able to share and pray together in real time—even if it was in postage stamp size squares! Sometimes we prayed aloud. Sometimes we typed in names. We prayed for individuals we know who are hurting—physically, financially, and spiritually. We prayed for the heroes we know who are caring for our most vulnerable. We also prayed for schools, businesses, churches, government leaders—mostly for a collection of people we don’t know.
When I hear people pray together I am encouraged. I am “spurred on.”
Now put your thinking cap on for just a minute. And let’s look at the big picture for just a minute. Let’s think together about how we think about God. Whenever I think hard about the nature of God, my brain starts to hurt. But this stuff matters. Hang in there for a minute, and then I’ll show you why it matters and how it fits with yesterday.
God is described in the Bible as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That’s this whole idea of the Trinity. Here’s the doctrine of the Trinity in a few words. God is one in essence, but three in person. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. At the same time, each person of the Trinity is distinct. We see in scripture times when the Father, Son, and Spirit function independently as distinct entities. Like when Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit is present. The Father says, “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
One What. Three Whos. Diversity within Unity.
Thinking about the Trinity is like eating a can of frozen orange juice. It’s really concentrated, and you’ll get brain freeze if you try to take it in too fast.
But that’s ok. Here’s what I want you to see. The relationship within the Trinity is one of perfect love. Read the Gospel of John on this one. There’s a bunch of references below if you want to go deeper on this.
When God created us in His image, He did so as an extension of His love. God wasn’t lonely. He didn’t need us to meet his needs or anything like that. He wasn’t on a power trip.
God created us out of love. We rebelled against God. God sent Jesus to save us. God gave us the Holy Spirit to remind us that we are part of the family. God wants us to share His love with others and invite them to join the family. More frozen orange juice here.
We can read books on theology and read the Bible cover to cover. And we should. What makes some of this really come alive, though, for me is when I see people of all ages praying together, fighting to stay connected, trusting in God to intervene, caring about those they don’t even know. I see a glimpse of the love and other-centeredness present in the Triune God.
That’s faith that challenges me, or as the writer of Hebrews says, “spurs me on” to share the love that God has for me. What about you?
God, Help me to see the full picture of your love more clearly. Help me to believe more deeply. Help me to share more freely.