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Trinitarian Life

June 11, 2017 – Trinitarian Life

  1. Trinity Sunday
    1. Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
    2. Thomas Becket was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on the Sunday after Pentecost (12th c.).
      1. His first act was to ordain that a new festival should be established on his day of consecration in honor of the Holy Trinity.
      2. This observance spread from Canterbury throughout the whole of western Christendom.
  • Our reading (Matthew 28) is one of the few key places where we have the three persons of the trinity mentioned or shown together.
    1. It is directly from Jesus’ own farewell discourse & final words.
    2. With those final words, we are invited through baptism into the very identity of the Trinity … by God’s own names, into the community of other-centered loving nature of that divine life.
    3. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the PRIMARY language for God It is God’s very own identity that we are given a new identity through the waters of baptism.
    4. And this is a big part of why this mysterious doctrine is so important to our Christian faith.
  1. Why is the Doctrine of the Trinity Important?
    1. God is Love as “other” oriented means being focused on the other; this means “in order to bring our will into alignment to seek union”
      1. If God is one person and God is love then creation is necessary because God must have an object of His love. God loves creation but He does not need creation.
      2. If God is a solitary self, then His love turns inward and becomes the most ego-centric, ego-maniacal self-loving entity in the universe so that it is all about God.
      3. That is not the case, and God is not this!
      4. Even in our response of love, it isn’t really just all about God.
    2. Description of Adam before the fall in Genesis 2.
      Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner.  So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
      The parade of animals narrative reveals that something is missing.

      1. Even in a perfect relationship with God, in a perfect state of being, there was still something missing from Adams life. He had no community.
      2. He was created in God’s image & needs an object of love.
      3. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” can’t be separated from that from “Love the God with all your heart soul & mind”
  • Galatians 5 identifies that the end of the law is Love
    the only thing that counts is faith working through love. … through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    1. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
    2. Therefore we do NOT have an egocentric egomaniacal God.
  1. Sometimes when we talk about glorifying God, we talk about God being egotistical & that He needs us, that He is somehow incomplete if we don’t glorify & worship Him.
    1. God has no need. He is completely free & independent.
    2. God gives Himself to us without reservation. He can do that because He’s perfect and has no need. What we do in response to that is to give ourselves completely and entirely because then we’re reflecting what happens within the Trinity, giving to each other.
  2. Creation is not necessary for God because of the Trinity
  3. We are the ones who fully benefit from His creation.
  1. How do We Live in Trinitarian Community?
    1. We need the Trinity to understand what it means to be a person; that unique web of relationships that makes each of us a person.
    2. Like the Father’s relationship to the Son that makes him Father and the Son’s relationship to the Father makes him Son, etc., etc.,
    3. We are created for community because we are created as persons.
  1. God is not a solitary self because God exists as a community
  2. God created them in His image – male and female – we were never created as a solitary isolated self.
  3. This is why being part of a local church is so important!!! You can’t do community by correspondence. You can’t get this essential part of the local church online; On the internet it becomes binary between you & the leader. Maybe it’s more convenient, but it’s not the crucible of the Church. Here, it’s not just pastor & congregant; it’s each other as well.
  4. In our very creation, we are created to give ourselves away. We need others for that. There has to be a human presence for that.
  5. In order to find your life … you must give it away just as the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit give themselves to each other … and have given themselves to us
  1. So, we have learned that God gives Himself to us w/o reservation. What we do in response to that is to give ourselves completely because then we’re reflecting what happens within the Trinity, giving to each other in community.


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