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The Art of "Hanging Out"

How and why the Trinity draws us into Christian community


One of my favorite movie scenes occurs in City Slickers, when Billy Crystal and Rob Reiner have a heart-to-heart conversation. Reiner tells Crystal that he's getting a divorce. As a caring friend, Crystal listens and expresses compassion. Then, as the camera pans out, we discover the entire conversation is taking place in Giants Stadium, and the two are surrounded by 60,000 screaming fans doing the wave at a Giants football game. Why do we do this? Why do we have this need to connect with someone—even in the midst of 60,000? The women might be thinking, "Men are so dysfunctional." But at least these guys connected somewhere. Why do we crave relationships?

As we said last week, the biblical doctrine of the Trinity tells us that the essence of life is relational because God is a relational God. God is community, and he made us for community. As people made in the image of God, we are deeply relational and interdependent creatures. A friend of mine recently said, "I crave relationships." Since he's a mature believer, I thought he might say something like, "I've learned to be fine with just me and God." Instead he said, with intensity, "I crave relationships."

Last week we started to explore questions of applying the doctrine of the Trinity: at 11:00 p.m. tonight what difference will the doctrine of the Trinity make in your life? This morning I want to focus on one aspect of that question: the doctrine of the Trinity will profoundly change our relationships, or the way we "hang out."

God likes to hang out with God.

God the Father is truly himself and Jesus is Jesus and the Spirit is the Spirit not when they do their own thing, but when they are one. As a leader of the early church said, "Each [member of the Trinity] ...

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Matt Woodley serves as the Editor for and the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. He is also the author of God With Us: The Gospel of Matthew (IVP).

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Sermon Outline:


I. God likes to hang out with God.

II. The triune God likes to hang out with us.

III. God wants us to hang out with one another.