“T” is for Trinity (March 12, 2013)

…Opening To…

If we would follow Jesus we must take certain definite steps. The first step, which follows the call, cuts the disciple off from his previous existence. The call to follow produces a new situation. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)

…Listening In…

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:13; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “T” is for Trinity. Folks in churches often shy away from discussing the “doctrine” of the Trinity. The old joke is that the head pastor of the church always gets the assistant to preach on Trinity Sunday. A lot of folks just don’t get what to do with the doctrine of the Trinity.

The funny thing is this: folks have a problem with the Trinity precisely because they use the word “doctrine” to describe it. Yes, the Trinity was a big part of the doctrinal disputes of the early church. Yes, contrary understandings of the Trinity was a contributing factor that led to the split between the Eastern and Western churches. This history notwithstanding, the Trinity is not a doctrine. It is a relationship. The moment I made this switch in my mind, the Trinity became a much more present reality in my life.

The relationship of the Trinity is the way our limited human minds can begin to grasp the edge of the corner of an understanding about God. We call God “Father,” but father is a relational word. There cannot be a parent without a child. So we call God “Son.” Thus, there is a relationship between God within God. This relationship is the “Spirit,” the love that the Father and Son have for one another. Of course, God is one, so all of this is God.

We don’t have to understand how the Trinity “works” to understand that the relational nature of God has always been. Never has there been a time when God was “alone” because God was with God before anything else was created. This gives me hope because God’s relationship with God tells me how God’s relationship with me happens. I am never alone because God is with me. Or to say it more precisely, I am with God.

…Praying For…

Dear God, your love has been the foundation of this universe since before time began. Help me to access this love in the relationships that I have with others. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, trusting that you never leave me, trusting that you are above, below, behind, before, beside, and within me.

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