Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

Romans 5:1-5

John 16:12-15

Trinity As Community

May 22, 2016

Trinity Sunday

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost,

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be

World without end. Amen. Amen

These beautiful words are sung by Christians throughout the world Sunday after Sunday, and have been in some form or fashion for centuries.  These are beautiful words. These are powerful words. These are words that give glory and honor to God. These are words that express our belief in, and devotion to, God. These are words that express the distinctly Christian idea about the God we worship, give glory and honor to, and serve. 

As Christians we believe that God is one. As Christians we believe that God expresses God’s self in many ways, but specifically through 3 different aspects of God’s one self:  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Today is the Sunday after Pentecost, traditionally celebrated by Christians as   Trinity Sunday.  The Seasons of  Advent, with its focus on the preparing for the coming of God into our world, Christmas, with its focus on God coming into our world through Jesus Christ, Lent, with its emphasis on Christ’s dying on the cross so our sins can be forgiven and our commitment to living in His ways, Easter, with its emphasis on the Resurrection of Christ and the new life Christ gives us, and the Day of Pentecost,  with its emphasis on the coming of the Holy Spirit and the strength the Holy Spirit can give us, are all over and done with until late November when the cycle begins again.  But before we rush headlong into what we call “Ordinary Time”, the time in the Christian year when there are no special celebrations or events, we stop to consider what we believe about God. We stop to consider the Doctrine of the Trinity.

As Christians, we believe that God is one. As Christians, we believe that God expresses God’s self in 3 ways. 3 in 1. 1 in 3. The Trinity. If that is confusing, then welcome to the Doctrine of the Trinity, a vitally important and yet very confusing part of our belief system as Christians.  The distinctly Christian idea about the God we worship, give glory and honor to, and serve. The idea, the concept, that is being celebrated each time we sing the Gloria Patri:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost,

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be

World without end. Amen. Amen

            The Doctrine of the Trinity is a way for us to describe the creating, sustaining, and redeeming work of God in our lives and in our world, but it is more than just an idea or concept or doctrine. It is also a way to describe who God is in a uniquely Christian way, and who God calls us to be and how God calls us to relate to Him and others in a uniquely Christian way.

            God is one, and yet God expresses God’s self through God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

            One thing the Doctrine of the Trinity reminds us about God is that God is in community. God is in community with God’s self. The 3 different aspects of God, the 3 different ways God relates to us, the 3 different ways God touches our lives and our world, are one.  God is one God, working with and relating to us in many   ways, but being in community so that all the different aspects of God are one united whole, working to accomplish one purpose.

            Our scripture passages for today give us different glimpses of God.

Our passage from Proverbs shows us God the Holy Spirit who is at work with the other aspects of God from the beginning of the world.

In our Romans passage Paul addresses the redeeming work of God the Son, dying on the cross so that we can live in Him.

In the John passage Jesus speaks of the unity between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Of all the things these passages can mean, one thing they mean is that God is in community. God is in community with God’s self.  All of the different aspects of God, all of the different ways God relates to us, all of the different ways God touches our lives and our world, are one. There is one God who works with and relates to us in many ways, but is in community so that all the different aspects of God are one united whole, working to accomplish one purpose.

Community. 

That is a wonderful word. It’s a word that speaks of home, as in the community in which we live. But it is also a word that speaks of cooperation and working together to accomplish a purpose.  It is the idea of community as working together to accomplish a purpose that the Trinity reminds us of.  The Trinity. God the Father. God the Son. God the Holy Spirit, working together to accomplish God’s purposes in the world. There is strength in community here. God the Father is working with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit so that the creation that is redeemed and strengthened is continually created. God the Son is working with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit so that the world that is created and strengthened is saved. God the Holy Spirit is working with God the Father and God the Son so that the world that is created and saved is strengthened.

            The Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, working together to get the work of God done in the world.

            The Trinity is God in community. The Trinity is also the Triune God inviting us into community.  The Trinity is also the Triune God calling us into relationships with each other.  It is the Triune God calling us into community with God, worshipping Him and serving Him. The Trinity. It is the Triune God calling us into relationships of love, caring, and fellowship. It is the Triune God calling us into relationships of support, of working together to do God’s will and work in the world.

Just as the different aspects of God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have different abilities: creating, redeeming, and sustaining, but all of those abilities are needed for the work of God to be done, we all have different  gifts, but can live in a community of sharing where  each of us use our gifts so that every aspect of God’s work is done in the Church, in our community, and in the world.

The Trinity is each aspect of God adding it’s own work so that God’s work is done in the world. Our Church as a community is each of us adding our own work so that God’s work is done.

Trinity as community. God as the Triune God existing in community, and calling us to do so, also.  In these days of individualism and a “me first” attitude, these days of the attitude of “I want to be in charge”, these days of the attitude of  “Do it my way or else”, God calls us into community. A community where relationships are treasured. A community where each person is important.  A community where each person’s gifts and abilities are treasured, nurtured, and needed. A community where each person has a vital role in the work of God in the world.

God is Trinity. God is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, are one in community and God calls each of us into community. God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, calls each of us to work together for the greater good. God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, calls each of us into a community where each person is loved, each person’s contributions are celebrated, each person’s gifts are nurtured and affirmed, and each person does their part for the greater good of the Kingdom of God in the world.

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit exists in community and calls us into community. 

Indeed –

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost,

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be

World without end. Amen. Amen