This coming Sunday the Church observes the Festival of the Holy Trinity – The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Grasping the meaning and essence of the Trinity is not an easy task. In fact, it is ultimately impossible for it is the attempt at trying to express the deepest mystery of a God who is as close as your breath and as distant as the farthest galaxy; as intimate as your most inner thought and as transcendent as time itself. When the Athanasian Creed teaches, “We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being,” I find myself over my head and out of my depth.
On the other hand, there is a way of thinking about the Trinity that is accessible, and even essential to our daily living. The key is to see the essence of the Trinity as a story of love. “The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (the name of our God) is the most concise way known to tell the story of God revealed in Jesus Christ. On the cross, the Son died, the Father wept, and the love between them reached into the world as the power of the Spirit. In the resurrection, the Son rose to join the Father and the love between them reached into the world as the Spirit bearing hope.
The Holy Trinity is love – a relationship of such perfected unity and self-giving to the other that the three are truly one. The Holy Trinity is the source of love that makes all unity and relationships possible. Without love, there is no creation. Without love, there is no redemption of a broken world. Without love, there is no hope, no future. The Holy Trinity is The Original Beloved Community.
This core of love that stands at the center of the Church is what makes the Body of Christ, the people of God, the priesthood of all believers a holy thing. As the Trinity is The Beloved Community, in love it calls together beloved people to be a beloved community for the sake of one another and the world.
Imagine what the love of the Holy Trinity could do to recreate this world. Each day we see the evidence of violence, brutality, blame, division all around us. We seem to become ever more creative in ways to separate ourselves from our neighbors. The logical conclusion of always dividing and subdividing is hatred and evil. Imagine how we address that process in the name of the Holy Trinity – with love, reconciliation, peace, forgiveness. Imagine the impact of a beloved community alive and active in the middle of this city at this moment in time. Then stop imaging and become part of that community, part of this congregation. Let love bind us all together to be an expression of the Trinity’s divine love together.
In the coming weeks we are going to explore the call we have received to be The Beloved Community in this place, at this time. I invite you to find your place in this beloved community for the sake of your community, your nation, your family, your soul. Why? Because, as we declare on Holy Trinity Sunday, “Our God is Love and love will overcome!”
In love and hope,
Tim Olson, Lead Pastor