Are You Confused about God?

A Labour of Love
May 17, 2024
Peacemaking in a Polarizing World
May 30, 2024
A Labour of Love
May 17, 2024
Peacemaking in a Polarizing World
May 30, 2024

Celebrating Trinity Sunday is a wonderful moment in our worship calendar where we can stop and think about God and how we encounter God in our lives irrespective of the creeds.  

Faith, it seems to me, starts in the dark, without light, just as Nicodemus’ encounter with Jesus did as its described in John’s Gospel (3:1-17).  ‘Nicodemus came to Jesus by night…’ (John 3:2). 

Faith does not rely on certainty and understanding to take root and grow before we can claim to have faith – rather, these conditions are the fruits of faith.  These are not on a list of things we have to achieve in order to earn faith.  Trusting Jesus, our teacher, the person we have encountered in the Gospels and with our friends, instead means we step out in faith before we can truly see where it is going to lead us as individuals and as a community of believers.  Spiritual certainties then grow with the experience.

St John of the Cross describes and affirms God as being in each and every one of us, patiently waiting, sometimes without any movement of the Spirit being possible throughout an individual’s life if there is no acknowledgement of possibilities.  But on other occasions, like a door opening, a tiny space is created by the person beginning to question, becoming curious and the Spirit ignites and in an iterative process the door widens, the space floods with love and the Spirit grows and flourishes as God’s love is shared, and the person comes to faith and new life at their own pace. 

There is no manipulation, violent demanding, coercive control or abuse: the Spirit waits forever, lovingly, and is love, is Christlike, is God abiding in us.   This being the Way, how could it be any other way. 

As we explore the ideas of God as Trinity and think about being confused, we understand we as individuals are born in community, in relationship with one another and with God.  As a person created by God, you and I are each in relationship with other people.  We are created to love and be loved.   We are uniquely created, each of us different, in the image of God as love, yet also in relationship intrinsically with others and with God always, and we are also members with one another, a single body, who is Christ.  (Eph 4:25)

We find in this relational oneness, we can see God’s perfect giving and receiving of love.  God is love, and it is what God shares in God’s nature and being and presence through the Son, the Word made flesh, and the Holy Spirit.  It is an eternal dance of giving and receiving always in communion, always in love.

There is the wonderful hymn of praise sharing this notion in Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:15-21. 

Christ is the image of the invisible God: the firstborn of all creation. For in him all things were created: in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.  All things were created through him and for him: he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  He is the head of the body, the church: he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.  For it pleased God that in him all fullness should dwell: and through him all things be reconciled to God’s self.   (APBA p.420)

We understand God’s love is an utter grace.  It does not rely on us to be or happen, on any quality or virtue we might hold in ourselves.  By definition, unearned grace is grace for all.  God’s desire is for everyone to choose freely to enter into the absolute joy and peace of union with God. 

In the understanding of God as Trinity, we see God’s intention to bring all things into union with God. You and I, together people living in the far reaches of the world, and our closer neighbours, our families, and those in the pews next to us, all different, yet all one in the body of Christ, in God, in love.

This has radical implications for our faith.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3:16-17).

God is like Jesus; God is and always has been Christlike.  Jesus is the lens through which we read the scriptures and think about how we live our lives.  Jesus, the Christ, is the Word of God as a person. We see Christ through the Spirit, usually through our own human loving relationships, through the Church, through Scripture and in our sacrament of peace.

As we share communion with one another, we can be certain, our standing with God does not depend on the right ordering of doing or being, believing or acting.  Our relationship with God is covenantal.   God loves, because love is God’s nature.  We learn and understand from the Trinity our personhood is created, shaped and formed by the relationships we have with other people. In our conversations and relationships we unlock the universe in our hearts and God’s love is set free for everyone.

As we approach Reconciliation Week next week, as we look at the conflicts overseas, and in our own homes with the scourge of family and domestic violence, our Trinitarian God waits patiently for us to see Christ in the eyes of the other and to know they are us in the body of Christ, without differentiation or hierarchy or patriarchy, without racism, classism or gender bias.  God is in them as God is in us, through the Spirit, breathed into us and making us one.  Let us then see God in our neighbour and in ourselves.


The Lord be with you.

Bibliography

Jarvis, C.A., Johnosn, E.E.  [Gen. Eds] 2015.  Feasting on the Gospels.  John, Vol. 1, Chs 1-9. Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville. Kentucky. USA.

Wood, J.M.  2022.  Practicing Peace.  Theology, Contemplation, and Action.  Eugene, Oregon, USA.   Wipf& Stock.

NRSV Bible.

Lucy Morris
Lucy Morris
Anglican Priest, International Speaker, Published Author, Social Justice Advocate and Activist.

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