Some thoughts on the Holy Trinity and its implications for the Church:
The Holy Trinity describes a God who is in perfect relationship. God is by nature relational, interdependent, and collaborative. Since God is Trinity as revealed to the Church, what do you think God desires the Church’s nature to be? It seems to me that God calls the Church to model God’s nature by also being relational, interdependent, and collaborative.
Have you ever wondered why God created the Church to bear the Gospel message? If God were better organized, then God would have used a satellite to beam the Gospel message directly into everybody’s home. We’d get the message without ever having to leave the comfort of our lazy boy recliners. We’d never have to be in relationship with anyone. Everybody could get the same message without ever having to be dependent on others, without ever having to collaborate with other people.
Now, why didn’t God think of that? It’s not that God didn’t think of it, it’s simply that it’s not in God’s nature to work that way. Instead of wave particles from a satellite, we have one another to bear God’s nature and love to the world. God has so ordered the creation and the Church that instead of being isolated individuals, we have to be in relationship with one another. Instead of being self-sufficient, we have to be dependent on one another. Instead of being isolated operators, we have to collaborate with one another.
The Church is the extension of God’s incarnation on the earth. The Church is God’s choice to take up permanent residence on the earth. The Church isn’t only a human organization even though it’s made up of human beings. The Church really isn’t an organization at all. Rather it’s an organism, a body, on which God has endowed God’s very nature. The Church isn’t a place to come for fellowship, although that occurs as a result of coming together. Rather, the Church is a people bearing the nature of God.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the Church is perfect. The Church will always be a divine and a human organism. God sires it, but it’s incubated in humanity. When Jesus rose from the dead and sent his Spirit to give birth to the Church, it wasn’t his intent to check out of life on earth, but rather to take up permanent residence on earth. The resurrection doesn’t tell us that Jesus is in heaven calling us to join him when we die. No, it tells us that Jesus is here with us now having begun that eternal relationship.
But we often get it backward. The Gospel isn’t that when we die we go home to Jesus, but rather the Gospel proclaims Jesus is risen, ascended, and comes home to us. The Good News of Jesus isn’t a promise, but rather it’s a presence of the risen and ascended Jesus incarnated in his Church. The Good News isn’t that we’ll live someday with Jesus, but that Jesus lives today with us. Why should we want to live with Jesus in heaven for eternity, if we’re not willing to live with him now on earth? Do we think we will love him more in heaven, if we do not love him now on earth?