Connecting with people in a meaningful and significant way is important to our family. We tend to define the term "family" fairly broad. We believe that life is better with people in it. It enriches our lives; it doesn't detract from it. We live at a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to connect with people. Our technology and social media convince us we are connected when we are, in fact, not. People are pulling away from the institutions that used to connect us, and many of us are finding ourselves becoming increasingly disconnected and alienated.
The Father of life isn't satisfied with that. The Triune God is intensely relational as demonstrated in the relationship that exists between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in how God loves us, and in how we love one another. 1 John 4:7-19 captures so well the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit working together to demonstrate God's love to us. Here's what we learn from reading it:
1] Love initiates with God. The Father deeply loves his children. Some of the most beautiful things I see on earth I see in my children. They touch a part of my I didn't know existed! There is something stirring profoundly in the heart of God for humanity...the children he loves dearly.
2] Because of his love, God pursues us. One of my kids favorite games is "Chase me, daddy!" They run circles around the house and around me, but they love being pursued by their father. in 1 John 4:9-10, we learn that God pursued us when he sent Jesus. God the Father initiates the love; God the Son pursues us with love.
3] Because of his love, God makes us his family. Love can cause us welcome all sorts of people "as family". One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to act as a litigator to make our adoption into God's family official. He seals the deal. Romans 8:15-16 says that we "received the Spirit that makes you a child of God and enables us to call out 'Abba, Father'. God's Spirit reminds us we are God's children." You know what Abba means? It is similar to daddy, and isn't it interesting that one of the first things that rolls off the lips of our newborn children is abbabbabba. Abba. I'll never forget the first time I heard my children say "daddy". Never.
God the Father initiates the love.
God the Son pursues us with love.
God the Holy Spirit makes us part of the family.