Love keeps changing! For me, it has gone from dependency to fusion to sacrifice. The underlying feelings have also made a journey from fear to fire to delight. As a child, love was all about someone else. All my love was towards my parents because I depended on them completely. Then it was all about me and my need to receive everyone else’s love. Eventually, I matured into some equilibrium where love was about both me and the other.
How would you describe love? Would you use words that talk about feelings, an activity, a concept? Could you describe it without experiencing it first? Certainly my experience has shown that love keeps changing and deepening as I mature and grow.
This is Trinity Sunday, and many of us will struggle with the philosophical rigour of the theological concept of the Trinity. What is John trying to say, anyway, with all this “mine and thine” discourse? Maybe it doesn’t need to be so convoluted and complex. As with spirituality, the difference between intellectual knowledge and actual experience can be compared to the difference between reading a menu and eating the meal. I wonder if that is why Adam and Eve ate the apple. But that is for another day…
What if the Trinity is simply a relationship of love? Not a childish love where we try to appease God. Not a youthful love where we voraciously consume God. Maybe the Trinity is more about the deepening love that respects distinctiveness while yearning for fulfilment through tenderness, courage, empathy, quiet, vigilance, suffering and delight. I am not sure we understand this until we have experienced it. What is your experience of love? And how is this part of your relationship with God?
May you know God’s self-giving love. And may it shape you into a lover.
JOHN 16:12-15 Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
ROMANS 5:1-5 Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
PSALM 8 O Lord our governor, how exalted is your name in all the world! Out of the mouths of infants and children your majesty is praised above the heavens. You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, to quell the enemy and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars you have set in their courses, What is man that you should be mindful of him? the son of man that you should seek him out? You have made him but little lower than the angels; you adorn him with glory and honour; You give him mastery over the works of your hands; you put all things under his feet; All sheep and oxen, even the wild beasts of the field, The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea. O Lord our governor, how exalted is your name in all the world!
PROVERBS 8:1-4, 22-31 Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth – when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil. When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.”