Unity with the Trin­ity

The Covington News - - Religion - Jonathan Scharf is pas­tor of Abid­ing Grace Lutheran Church in Cov­ing­ton. Full ser­mons and more in­for­ma­tion can be found at www. abid­ing­grace. com.

Martin Luther, said, “ To try to deny the Trin­ity en­dan­gers your sal­va­tion; to try to com­pre­hend the Trin­ity en­dan­gers your san­ity.”

Last week, we mar­veled at our God that de­scribes him­self as three per­sons, yet one God. I know, ev­ery pro­fes­sional math­e­ma­ti­cian ( and even some kinder­gart­ners out there) would tell me I’m crazy to tell you that one plus one plus one equals one, but hey, God’s mind is big­ger than mine, so I’m fine be­ing crazy in your eyes as long as I’m shar­ing God’s truth.

But what’s even cra­zier than that math is what the apos­tle Paul writes about how that tri­une God acts. In 2 Corinthi­ans 13: 14, he says to those Corinthian read­ers that the “ grace of the Lord Je­sus Christ, and the love of God, and the fel­low­ship of the Holy Spirit are with you all.”

God — 3 in 1 — by def­i­ni­tion more than our brains can even fathom, God is with us.

A few weeks ago there were some huge storms that came through our area long af­ter the kids were in bed. Our 4-year old son woke to one of the booms of thun­der. We heard the bed creak as he jumped out, then the thump of those lit­tle feet on the hall­way floor and within sec­onds he was with us in bed.

Why? Was he safer there with us? He thought so. Truth­fully, we couldn’t have done any­thing to pro­tect him from the storm, but he was con­fi­dent that things would be bet­ter be­cause dad and mom were with him.

The storm that brings kids to tears when they’re by them­selves be­comes a spec­tac­u­lar light show to ooh and aahh at when dad is hold­ing you. And that’s a dad who has no con­trol over the storms.

This tri­une God is the One who com­mands the winds and the waves with his words. He is with us. That’s what Paul leaves us with as he closes this letter.

God was with those Corinthian Chris­tians, that some­what dys­func­tional group (I mean, ear­lier, Paul had to chas­tise them for get­ting drunk on com­mu­nion wine… how bad can it get?). But God was with them, with his grace.

God would use them. In the midst of Corinth, that mecca of sin and loose liv­ing, in a fo­rum for ev­ery false phi­los­o­phy and world­view, they had work to do, but God was with them.

Now ap­ply that to us here to­day. Sure there are storms in your life. Sure there are daunt­ing chal­lenges ahead of us: bills to pay, re­la­tion­ships to heal, work to get done, and through it all, such an im­por­tant pur­pose to keep in fo­cus. Af­ter all, God says we’re here to share him with oth­ers. And Satan is con­stantly at­tack­ing so that doesn’t hap­pen. Talk about storms. But God — the Tri­une God, the God of grace and love and fel­low­ship is with you.

Re­mem­ber­ing

your unity with the Trin­ity, you will do the things that bring the unity from the Trin­ity, show­ing the grace of Je­sus as you for­give one an­other; show­ing the love of God as you put your­selves on the line for each other, will­ing even to be walked over if it means an op­por­tu­nity to show love.

And what is the re­sult of that? Fel­low­ship that comes from the Holy Spirit, fel­low­ship that comes when you re­al­ize that you all have the same goals, the same faith, the same for­give­ness, the same sin­gu­lar tri­une God.

The grace, the love, the fel­low­ship: That is the story of the Trin­ity in the lives of be­liev­ers.

So may the grace of the Lord Je­sus Christ, and the love of God, and the fel­low­ship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

That’s what it is all about.

JONATHAN SCHARF COLUM­NIST

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