Going for long walks is one of my favorite ways to rest. It helps to clear my mind, rejoice in our Creator, and is my preferred way to spend one-on-one time with friends and family. This past weekend I got to spend a whole day at a state park east of Dallas with some dear friends of mine. We “hiked”, watched the eclipse, brought a picnic, and even took a little nap. It was a life-giving and restful day of soaking up the sun and pausing to marvel at creation.
As I was praying through what to write about this week, Jesus’ meditation on weather patterns came to mind from the end of Matthew 5.
“44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Unsurprisingly, Jesus has a God saturated perspective of the world. He knows that the state of the fields he passed through during His ministry doesn’t give insight into the faithfulness of the farmer. A green luscious field does not mean someone is righteous, just like a barren field does not mean someone is wicked. (Praise God that struggling yards is not an indication of faithfulness or we’d all be in trouble after this summer!)
What does this say about God? If both the righteous and the wicked equally receive life-giving blessings through the sun and the rain, what does that mean about the Kingdom Jesus is bringing and that we are invited to be a part of?
The weather reveals God’s incredible grace on image-bearers regardless of if they “deserve it”. The Kingdom operates on this radical generosity. Generosity first given to us by God that we are now entrusted to give to others. It is not only believers who are experiencing the beautiful weather right now, or who excitedly took pictures of the cool shadows caused by the eclipse this weekend. But it is believers who are able to extend the radical generosity of the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth. Not only do we get to receive salvation, we get to participate in God’s story of salvation! How can we not be radically generous with something as precious and wonderful as the Kingdom of God?
At the end of this month we are holding our first Gospel Conversations Training. This is not the only way to participate in bringing the kingdom, but it is a tangible next-step. We hope to see you there!
If you can't join us (and if you can!) I would encourage you to pause and consider the weather. Go take a walk, drink your coffee outside one morning, open up the windows in your house or office. Take a moment to rest in the generosity of our God. Consider the mercies He extends us all every single day. Remember that it is the Creator of the heavens and the earth who has given us salvation. Thanks be to God!