I am still contemplating on all that happened in Johannesburg and pictures come up. It is easy to move on and say: That was great – but it’s time to move on to everyday stuff. I want to share a few thoughts on why I think this fellowship of Baptist women globally is not just another cool conference. It is God’s treasure chest, which needs to be on our minds at all times.
In Galatians 4, Paul paints a picture of the world as God’s household. There are three kinds of people he sees there – the slaves, who have no permanent place in it and are considered strangers (that would be the unbelievers), the young children, who still need a peidagogos to keep them in place and learning (Paul believes this are the Jews before Jesus) and the sons and daughters who are off age and who sit at the table, have the right to listen to the Father in person and to speak to him and know his will directly.
When I read Galatians 4 the picture of God’s family business comes to mind. As God’s daughters we have been acknowledged as full family members. We sit with God around the executive table. God says: “My daughters, I hope you have read through the memo I sent you and we are all on the same page concerning our goal for a new world. Just to make sure you all got me right. There is pain in the world and there is suffering. There is an enemy still on the loose on earth causing all this. It is our business to ease the pain and suffering. Set free the victims! Turn on the light!”
God tells us: “As my children in whom my Spirit is placed, you are my partners in this. You are no longer little children. You are grown women of integrity and my daughters. You have been gifted with the best of gifts – all my treasures I have hidden among you. My Spirit, the Spirit that has risen Jesus from the dead, is in you. Nothing is impossible!”
“So now,” God says, “the table discussion is open! What are your ideas? Where do you see the issues and how do you think they can be solved? What can you do? Can you see the potential in the women that surround you? How can that potential be awaken? How can it be put to use? How can you all work together? What would you do if only the sky was the limit? Because it is! Everything that is mine and I have given to you. Take it out into the world in my name.”
This is how I see our work together in the Women’s Department (and also in the BWA): God has placed us together to engage what he has already given us towards the fulfilment of his ‘executive goals’ concerning a hurting world. It takes Christian grown-ups to recognise this amazing Spirit of adoption as children of God through Christ’s holy sacrifice. We are not minors in the eyes of God who must be afraid. As Christ believers and God’s daughters we are off age and ready for responsibility. God has put sandals on our feet and given us his executive ring. We have his Word, but we also share in his Spirit to lead us into all truth and create in us both wanting and being able to do his perfect will. We are co-workers in God’s family company! Our names have been written on the company’s logo: God & daughters.
Or even more down to earth:
It is like watching our own grown children stepping out into the world and making a difference. We do not tell them what to do or not. We watch them take their own decisions, and love their successes. So too, God has equipped us and has made us ready. He delights in our endeavours and cheers for us. He rejoices in our successes like a mother does when her children do well. He helps us analyse when things do not turn out right, when things grow over our heads, when we have taken on too much! And God loves it when we come to share with him and ask advice and pick his mind. It is the best place!
That’s why belonging to a global family of such daughters (and sons) is not just a great conference experience, but a gigantic privilege. All around the world there are sisters and brothers sharing the same Spirit and mission, sitting at the same table, with the same Father. If communication lines are set up and open, we can share and mobilize an immeasurable potential for the good – something which has still unexplored heights and depths and breadth. God says that in his church he has hidden a potential which equals the power which raised Jesus from the dead! Do we understand what this means? God’s Spirit in us still raises the dead! There is no pain in this world which can trump that!