This is the first draft of a welcome that appeared in today's Holy Trinity worship bulletin.
Today is Holy Trinity Sunday. Its emphasis is on the mystery of God’s identity: one God in three Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Although the Bible never uses the term trinity, the word summarizes a reality that is pointed to all over the pages of the Bible. There, we see the chronicles of the encounters of thousands of people with the three Persons of the Trinity?
And what difference does it make that God is one God in three Persons? 1 John 4:8 tells us that, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The writer of this phrase, John, was the same writer to affirm that God existed before time and creation and that God created the universe and us for no other reason than extravagant, self-giving love.
This same John bears witness to having seen Jesus, God the Son, in the flesh, Who, in character, acted from extravagant, self-giving love.
To say that, “God is love” isn’t to identify God as an abstract concept, love. It means that love describes the very essence and character of His being. It means that love is how God thinks, acts, creates, commands, forgives, renews, and seeks relationship.
This is real-life love, not just theoretical love. And real life love is only identifiable, confirmable in relationship. From before the beginning, God has been in a loving relationship within Himself: the Father loves the Son and the Holy Spirit; the Son loves the Father and the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit loves the Father and the Son. The three Persons of the trinity are co-equal and one being. God gave and received love long before He breathed life into dust to make Adam. In fact, God only could only have loved the universe into being because His character was love. And that love already existed in the Trinity, in the real-life experience of eternal love.
From the extravagance of God’s love, He has created You; He has entered the world to die and rise, offering forgiveness of sins, eternal life with God, and true loving fellowship with others, to all who repent for sin and believe in Jesus Christ; and He lives in and empowers the everyday lives of believers in Jesus.
This is the reason why Jesus commands us, who make up His Church, to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20). God, the Trinity, wants His Church to proclaim the good news about Jesus, so that all, by grace through faith in Christ, can be part of the community of love He has enjoyed and will enjoy for all eternity. That’s how much He loves humanity. And that’s why the Trinity is so important.