The Holy Trinity: A Model for Loving Community

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce,

 This Sunday is known as Trinity Sunday, the end of the Pentecost octave when we celebrate the eternal nature and unity of God in three persons. Not much can be said about the Trinity without oversimplifying this central theology. How can God be one and three? It seems impossible, doesn’t it? But rather than focusing on the mechanics, instead consider what the Holy Trinity can teach us about the very nature of God.

The Father is often called the source, the creator, the person from whom the Son was eternally begotten and from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds. Yet, all three persons are present in the primary actions of the other. God the Father created the world and yet we believe that all things came into being through the eternal Word, the Son. And at the very beginning the Spirit hovered over the waters of creation. The persons of the Trinity cannot be separated one from another. They are eternally one, and yet three. Each person of the Trinity is present in God’s redeeming work in the world.

It has always been interesting to me that God is three, not two. We often view human relationships between two individuals, such as marriage or friendship. But the Holy Trinity does not model relationship in this way. The Holy Trinity models community. The Trinity is a mystery, and yet it is central to the Christian faith. We may not be able to fully understand this theology, but we can experience the love which binds the three, the love that is poured out upon the creation.

How might we receive this kind of love? How might we imitate this kind of perfect unity in loving community? This is something we cannot achieve this side of heaven, but it is something for which to strive. The perfect love, the perfect unity, and the holy community of the Trinity is the guide by which the Church lives out God’s mission in the world.

Each Sunday, when we send out Eucharist to those who are unable to be with us we say these words: “We who are many are one body because we all share one bread, one cup.” We come from many ethnic, cultural, and social backgrounds. We are many genders and expressions, many sexual orientations, different political persuasions, many ages, and many zip codes. Yet we are one. We are one body because we are one in Christ.

The Apostle Paul gives us the metaphor of the Body of Christ to represent the Church. As St. Paul so eloquently explains, it takes many members to make one body. It takes each of us, in our varied expressions, to constitute this body at St. Peter’s.

During the summer months the Stewardship Team is focusing on time and talent, asking each of us to consider the fullness of Christian stewardship, which is not simply financial but a calling to also give of our time and gifts. As you hear from various ministries within the parish this summer, consider how you might share your unique gifts in this small corner of God’s kingdom.

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Priest-in-Charge