The Love that Binds

Last weekend, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offered a rousing and inspiring sermon at the Royal Wedding in Windsor. If you have not had a chance to listen, I recommend you do so. In perfect Bishop Curry fashion, God’s love was the theme of the day. As we celebrate this Trinity Sunday, we have an opportunity to reflect on the words offered by our Presiding Bishop and the love of God which binds all of humanity.

The first Sunday after Pentecost is Trinity Sunday, the day the Church celebrates the doctrine of God in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Church has long believed the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to be co-equal, co-eternal, and of the same nature: “one God in three divine persons.”

Throughout the centuries theologians have debated the Church’s understanding of the Trinity. Personally, I have yet to hear a simple illustration that fully describes what we believe about the nature of God. Most attempts to succinctly explain the Trinity are full of accidental pitfalls, and so the best explanation is sacred mystery.

The nature of God is indeed a mystery and once we set aside our attempts at understanding this, we are able to grasp the most sacred mystery of what the Trinity offers: Love.

Love does not exist in a vacuum and it does not belong in a silo. Love is always directed towards another.  St. Bernard of Clairvaux described the Trinity in just this way: The Father is the one who loves, the Son is the beloved, and the Spirit is the love which binds all three. Through their perfect relationship of love, they pour out God’s love on the face of the earth. The relationship, the communion, and the unity which exists within the Trinity is a model for humanity: perfect unity, just harmony, right relationship, mutual welfare, and sacrificial love.

At St. Peter’s we strive to be “a community of bold followers…a place of radical love and welcome…” This is who I believe we are and who we are becoming. Like the Holy Trinity, it can be difficult to articulate what it is about this place that keeps us coming back, that taps into the depths of our souls; but like the Holy Trinity, we are not required to fully understand it, we are simply invited to embrace it.

Through our regular fellowship offerings, such as the St. Peter’s Dinner Groups beginning this fall and the upcoming Parish Picnic on Sunday, June 3, we have many opportunities to practice our embrace of God’s love in this community. I hope you will join us for the Parish Picnic if you are able, and I pray this Trinity Sunday and every day, we will be inspired by the sacred mystery of God’s eternal love.

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Associate Rector