This Sunday is Trinity Sunday. We start the month focusing on the mysterious claim that God is ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. This isn’t just a puzzle for theologians. This doctrine tells us love and relationship are at the heart of the divine. We share God’s life together.
From John 3:
Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”
From Matthew 28:
Jesus came to the disciples and said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We are baptised ‘In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. Baptism is the sign that we have joined the church. Our fellowship in the visible church is part of our fellowship with the invisible God. And because we believe in God the Trinity, we believe that relationship is at the heart of God.
Christians share with Islam and Judaism the central belief that God is One. But Christians believe that at the heart of the One God is relationship and fellowship. God is a mystery, far beyond our understanding. Just as a central picture of God is that of a loving parent, so another side of God’s nature is expressed in the picture of a loving community or a loving family. No one picture gives us the whole truth.
Inscribed in one of our East London churches are these words from the the First Letter of John: “No-one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made perfect in us.” That’s why the doctrine of the Trinity matters – and why we celebrate it in churches across the world today
Our calling as children of God, baptised into the church, is to make sure that our lives make visible this love which stands at the heart of the invisible God Just as Baptism is a sacrament (an outward sign of the grace of the invisible God) so our whole lives can be sacramental. All our human roles and relationships – husband and wife; parent and child; employer and worker; neighbour and friend – can be more or less filled with God’s love.
This is why many of our churches are involved in movements such as Citizens UK and Near Neighbours, reaching out to neighbours of other faiths and worldviews. This vital work – strengthing relationships between churches, temples and mosques, and building a more just society – makes us ‘co-workers with God,’ as his love and justice become more visible on earth.
In this weekend of celebration for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, give thanks for her example of love and dedicated service, and her role as a focus of unity in our diverse nation.
Pray for the many community events our partner churches are involved in this weekend – that this work will strengthen relationships with other faith and community groups, enabling long-term action for the common good.