What does God challenge me to do, be, or change - with regards to 2 Corinthians 13:11-13?
What does this tell us about the nature of the Trinity? (We also read Matthew 28:16-20.)
These were the questions at the Bible study portion of our weekly staff meeting this morning. These are two of the lessons for this Sunday, June 15th, 2014, Trinity Sunday. It goes right along with what I was writing last night about creating a space for daily prayer and reflection. In reading these lessons and pondering about the simple, yet confusing concept and nature of the Trinity....well, WOW, there's a lot to ponder.
The Christian faith is resolutely Trinitarian and regardless of how I individually might struggle with this concept, the community fills in those faith gaps. While I dare not to make an heretical analogies just yet (see the veeeery end of this post for some of St. Patrick's Bad Analogies), I decided that our standard for the nature of the Holy Trinity as community is one aspect of our human struggle to remember by the actions of the second verse of 2 Corinthians: "Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you" --- to actually receive the last verse of 2 Corinthians: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you".
That sounds awfully confusing. What I think I mean is that it seems like we continually strive for that last verse....we continually hope for and grow spiritually into the grace which is given us, grow through the love God has given us, and grow with the communion of the Holy Spirit in one another and with God. I see the ability to be in communion and fellowship with one another at various times and in various places as one of our challenges. I hope for our world that we will continue to strive for this and also take into account that perhaps the "communion of the Saints" doesn't solely represent those who have gone before, but those in the here and now! I feel that we need to create a space for the active Holy Trinity to be active in our lives, in the now. The Eternal nature of God provides for seeing his different aspects over time. One of the challenges to myself is to foster that continuous spiritual growth, realization of grace, and hope for community and one way I hope to do that is to continue daily prayer and/or reflections. Even if I don't arrive at any earth-shattering conclusions with my reflections - that's OK, but at least I am moving in the right direction. A passage from a book I recently read, Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers, written by one of my best friends, C.K. Robertson, and Ian S. Markham, states:
"Constantly throughout the Bible, we see these three different aspects of God move and connect and interrelate. So, for example, at the baptism of Jesus (see Matthew 3:13-17), we see Jesus (the Word) being baptized, the Father's divine affirmation of the mission, and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove. It is because of this three-fold movement of God that we are baptized in the name of the "Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.". I find this very helpful. I also find it helpful that we "have seasons in our lives" where we might struggle with the concept of a Triune God. The book is VERY worth reading and can be bought here. He has tons of fantabulous books at his website, check it out! C.K. Robertson
When it comes to that daily prayer........Do we sit down and reserve and spend some time for God in my daily life and activities? Do we forget? Do we see it as a reflex, a habit, a necessity, a gift, or what? What do we do with this thing called prayer? I can tell you without reservation that for different portions of my life, I tended to save prayer for right before I went to sleep. I had the idea that it was supposed to be a private affair and quiet and....well, that made it rather stagnant. What would happen? I'd fall asleep OF COURSE! Was that a bad thing? Probably not dire, but I felt badly about it. It's not too cool to feel you are failing at faith and prayer.
|Hibiscus: C. Carson|
|St. Paul's Episcopal, New Orleans. Baptismal|
font and window at sunset. C. Carson
One thing I completely love doing is spending time online. Yes, I admit, I am an online junkie of sorts. It's not so bad until I realize I've been leaning over a computer and that hours have passed. For the past two years, I have made concerted efforts to subdue this habit of mine and while I still spend plenty of time online and on social media, I have indeed learned to give these things their times and places. I've learned to cut my phone off (and I'm from South Carolina so "cut off" is normal speak :-) With the time that I allow myself, during the past twelve months, I decided to see if I could focus some of my online efforts and mix them with productivity.
I realized that with a blog, website, and several social media outlets, I am slightly overproductive at times. Prolifically, annoyingly, continuously productive in content, commentary, and reading everyone's else's productivity as well. BUT I LOVE IT SO. What to do, what to do.....
Then, one evening, during my Eastertide reflections and reading someone else's blog......
IT HIT ME...
Why don't I include some prayerful blog posts?! It was a PERFECT match for me and the idea of accountability in prayer. For sure, this is one of my attempts at daily prayer and meditation and as we struggle to find time in our over-filled and joyfully busy lives, why not take some time to share what we love doing and OPENLY INCLUDE GOD. Yes indeed! With this, there will always be more to do and new ideas, continuous growth and deep reflection!
|Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest|
As for the Trinity, let me know how you handle that :-) Since you made it to the end, you deserve a reward....check out St. Patrick's bad analogies of the Trinity
PS. "COME ON, PATRICK!"