This morning’s second reading reminds me of the past week:
Brothers and sisters, rejoice.
Mend your ways, encourage one another,
agree with one another, live in peace,
and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
It seems that I was called to be encouragement this week. I was called to step outside my own little world, which is often difficult for me to make myself do. I have a fantastic interior landscape and often forget to come out and actually act on what I think and feel and know. But this past week I actually picked up the cell phone and called my friends. I shared with them, I listened, I offered prayers. And, they returned the favor. The Spirit moved all over this land.
This is Trinity Sunday. I remember struggling with the Trinity when I was in class to “join the church” as a young teen. “Joining the church” would be Presbyterian of the 1960’s for Confirmation, as best I can tell. One went through classes and then became a member who could go to communion. In my case, as I was not baptized as an infant I was also baptized as a part of the process.
Even then, I wrestled with a lot of the theological concepts presented to us. I remember the teacher using the image of 3 candles placed so that they burned with one flame. Not such a bad image for the Trinity. My understanding has changed from those 3 candles to one much more alive and personal: The Trinity is God as community. That is a much more personal and alive understanding to me. I can see glimpses of that Trinity in action when I have coffee with my group sisters on Wednesday morning, or when I call my friend down in Monroe County and we share. The Spirit is both the driving force and the resulting force of those communal interactions — the result of communication with each other.
It seems to me that as I journey, if I listen, I find the life and love behind those abstract ideas I was taught as a child. They were rather impersonal then, but over the journey, they have taken on form and life.
As an 8th grader (not long after I joined the church), I had a couple as Sunday School teachers, who had an impact on me that they will probably never know. It was the first time I had a sense of Sunday School teachers who were teaching from the heart, teaching from a deep, personal belief, teaching from a place of faith. I’m not saying that other’s weren’t, but I didn’t pick up on it if it was there. I knew that they were different somehow and that this faith was somehow more real in them than I had even been aware of. I can’t explain how in words, but somehow God was able to get through to me, just a little bit by their example. The Spirit was at work, calling to me, and for a moment, I could hear Her and try to follow a couple of steps.
And, somehow, that is a glimpse of the Trinity.