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Posts tagged ‘Trinity’

The Community of God

“. . . we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:1b and 5:5b (CEB)

This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday when we remember God, the three-in-one.  There are many ways of saying this interesting theological idea:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Creator, Christ, and Spirit just to name two.  What does this all tell us, anyway?

I think many of us struggle to understand, much less explain the doctrine of the Trinity.  When I was in seminary, my worship professor used to say that it is God in Community.

How do we explain that there are three Beings who interact with us in our lives, in our churches, in the world, and yet they are made of the same substance and all God?  It seems like a contradiction?

Years ago someone compared it to Water, Ice, and Vapor – made of the same substance but in different forms and with different interactions in the world.  I guess that helps.

Maybe it’s helpful to think of the Trinity as God entering our lives in a variety of ways and caring for us in many roles.  I mean, if you think of it, we all have different roles in our lives.  To some, we are daughter or son, mother or father, aunt or uncle, teacher, pastor, office workers, truck driver, salesperson, clerk at the store, or any number of roles that we are called to be.  Yet, we are one person.

It’s probably not the most helpful idea, but at least we have a sense that God works with us in all of life, in every circumstance, and throughout our lives.  We, as the Church, carry on the work of Christ in the world where we point to Jesus as Savior and head of the church.  The Holy Spirit inspires and leads us, reminding us of Jesus’ teachings.  God works through it all to create and keep on creating a world where God’s love can be felt and received.

The Community of God is Triune, and it is a large group of people around the world who live as God’s children to try to make the world a better place.  After centuries of existence, the Church of Jesus Christ still has a lot of work to do, but we aren’t alone!  The Triune God works with us and through us to keep on trying, keep on living as God’s children, and keep on changing the world one person at a time.

How do you experience God in your life?

In what ways have you been able to see the many ways God interacts with you?

How has your church reflected the Community of God to others?

Trinity

Jesus said to the disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth . . .”  John 15:12-13a (NRSV)

There are a lot of things I really don’t understand.  Maybe I live with the “why” question every day, I don’t know.  I joke with the congregations I serve when I talk about it and say that I have a list of questions to ask when I get to heaven, and the list just gets longer all the time.  Of course, when I get there, none of them will really matter, and the scriptures tell us that we will understand anyway.  (See 1 Corinthians 13:12).

So when I read the scripture above from John 16, which is Jesus talking to his disciples as he attempts to prepare them for his death, I feel a little better.  Maybe some things are just to complicated and massive for us to understand.  We can’t take it all in at once, thus stunting our ability to comprehend much of it. 

I remember sitting through an all day workshop when the speakers gave us hours and hours of information, and after a while I felt like I was on overload, and my brain simply couldn’t take in any more information.  I suspect that learning about God is like that, too, so it’s not really a surprise that trying to understand God in the concept of Triune – the Trinity – can be a bit mind boggling, as well.

Basically, I see the Trinity as the three “beings” of God who relate to us in different ways.  Sometimes, I find myself making God the “head” of the family, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit subservient, but I know that isn’t the case.  They are God on equal footing and they are the ways in which we experience God.  Someone told me once that it is like our hand and fingers.  The fingers are all part of the one hand, and each has it’s own function, but they are still connected as the hand.

That helps a little.  The doctrine of the Trinity has been and continues to be challenging, but we can be sure that it is another way for us to try to comprehend (although at times in overwhelming ways) the magnitude and mystery of God in our lives and how God interacts with us as human beings.  Maybe some day, I’ll understand it fully, but for now, I will trust and know that God is working in the world through me and many others to make this a better place.  Thanks be to God!

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