A COMMUNITY OF SHARING
2 Corinthians 13:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20
Today is Trinity Sunday—the day when we think about the way we understand who God is—as Three in One, One in Three. This is not an easy concept to get our heads around, and it is important to remember that the idea of the Trinity is actually a doctrine we use because we can never understand the whole reality of God. Many pastors, including me, feel inadequate to preach on the Trinity. The Holy Trinity is such a mystery. In eighteen years as a pastor, I do not believe that I have ever shared a satisfactory sermon about the Holy Trinity—which is probably a good thing for humility!
If we take a closer look at today’s text on St Paul’s second letter to Corinthians 13:11-13, we will see that they help us better appreciate the most important truth about the Holy Trinity. The letter concludes with a blessing proclaiming God’s grace, love and fellowship: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” This blessing suggests that to know God as Three and, at the same time to know God as One, has to do with responding to God’s invitation to be in a relationship with God as a community and not simply about having information or knowledge about God.
Blessing is perhaps the most unique way of experiencing God’s unifying grace, love, and fellowship. It reminds us that we have life and faith only because God is committed to us and is surrounding us always in the continuing embrace of the Spirit. Today, many are so exhausted that it is hard to find love and grace towards our neighbour. The late Catholic Bishop of Tanzania, Christopher Mwoleka, once said, “The mystery of the Trinity is not a doctrine dealing with a division of power in the Godhead, but a statement about the way in which God shares (God)self with the creation and calls us who believe not so much to explain as to imitate that sharing by sharing our own lives with the creation.”
That is the core message of the “Great Commission” in the Gospel of St Matthew 28:16-20. It is much more than a command to establish a few local missions in foreign countries. It is a call to discipleship and sharing the gospel of Jesus wherever we are. Making disciples has nothing to do with proselytising or increasing church statistics. It has to do with taking the message of Jesus in and through the grace, love and fellowship of the Triune God. We lovingly and inclusively share ourselves with all the people around us in the community: no one is excluded.
The Bible depicts God as communal, being in a relationship from the beginning and wanting to invite all into that relationship. As disciples of Jesus, we are also encouraged to welcome others and invite them to a place where they can enjoy their relationship with God as a community.
Sim Joo Yee (Julie),
Council for World Mission