Monday, April 1, 2013

The Missionary God

Welcome to the "Missional Journey," a seven week Bible reading series that will explore our call to share in the life-transforming, world-changing mission of God. The season of Easter is a perfect time to reflect on our call to mission, since the resurrection stories in all four gospels compell us to go forth as living testimonies that Jesus is alive! Today, as we begin this journey together, we will start at the beginning (literally) with the reading of the first chapter of Genesis.
In the beginning...God created the heavens and the earth. - Genesis 1:1
Most of us are overly familiar with these iconic words from the Book of Genesis. We are familiar with the basic story of creation, the story of God speaking creation into existence. But how often do we reflect on the deeper theological question of why God created the world in the first place? Why did God choose to create? Although there various schools of thought regarding God's reasons for choosing to create a physical world, I find the argument of St. Augustine of Hippo the most compelling.
Augustine argued that in creation God's love is poured out, or given, "out of the largeness of his bounty." In other words, creation is the overflow of divine love. The love of God, as expressed in the Trinity, is so immense that it cannot be contained, but overflows and is made manifest in creation. Therefore, when God looked at the created order, the overflow of divine love, God saw that it was very good!
When we begin to undertand creation as the overflow of divine love, then we begin to see that creation is the very beginning of the mission of God. Scot McKnight, a New Testament scholar, says, "creation is the explosion of God's internal missionality!" The very nature of God's love is to expand and reach out beyond itself. Creation is the tangible expression of this love.
So, today I invite you to take a walk outside. Observe the beauty and glory of creation, the overflow of divine love. Take a moment to thank God for the gift of creation, the gift of this tangible expression of God's love, which we call home.


  1. I had to chuckle at your comment to go outside because I had gone outside to read the study. Had a difficult night and morning and need to 'feel' God arms around me via His sunshine, breeze, creatures moving about, etc. I pray better and hear His replies easier outdoors especially if I am on my knees with my hands in His soil. Thank you Lord for the timely (for me in many ways) beginning to this study. Amen

  2. This is one of the reasons I choose to walk around sunrise. So much evidence of God's creation and love surrounds me at that early hour: the blazing, warm sun; the ever-changing, brilliant blue sky; the lush green trees; the chirping birds; the pesky, playful squirrels; the serene, calming quiet; as well as heart and lungs and health! God's beauty is peace for my soul!