What if our faith were evalauted according to the depth of our relationships? What if a church’s “success” was seen not by the number of members, the size of the buildings, the number of programs, or the size of the budget … but rather by how the community IS JESUS in the community?
Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Cor. 13:11-13.
Before there were people on the earth, before there was an earth … God was! Before anyone or anything else, God was a relationship, God was living as a relationship. The TRINITY was before all else.
God sent his Son, Jesus to ____? Not to establish a Church. Not to establish a rule of life. Jesus came to draw us into a relationship that he shared with the Father and the Spirit.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved THROUGH him.” Jn.3:16-18.
Could it be that we spend too much time trying to teach people how to live … rather than teaching them how to live in Jesus? Jesus extended to us an invitation to live in relationship with him in order to live in relationship with the Father. Jesus taught us that the KINGDOM was in our midst. In other words, live in him — experience the Father, and experience the kingdom.
** If there is no union with God, no relationship with God — then there is no real union with spouse, with children, with friends, with brothers and sisters. LIFE IS ABOUT RELATIONSHIP and everything starts with being in relationship with God, through Jesus. LIFE IS RELATIONAL …God teaches this through the mystery of the trinity.
In the book, “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, and Spy”, Eric Mextaxis shares the evolutionary thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer wrote:
> Christianity is not about religion at all, but about the person of Christ. p. 83
> Religion was a dead, man-made thing, and at the heart of Christianity was something else entirely — God himself. p. 83
In the book, “The Rest of the Gospel: When the Partial Gospel Has worn you out”, Dan Stone and David Gregory write:
> Not only did Christ die for our sins, but he is our indwelling life. p.35
> Christians are living: trying to become something they already are. We have it backwards. In God’s economy in the seen realm we become because we in the unseen realm already are.
As we are drawn into a deeper relationship with God, we do not so much live like Christ, but rather we live as Christ.
What does the Trinity really mean for us today?
It can be so much more than a mystery …. it can be a challenge first to be drawn into relationship with God, and secondly, to live in true relationship with others. Before there was a world, God was a relationship … God was whole without a world. So, for me and for you, I am whole with relationship(s) and not with a world.
This is heavy stuff … but, we can ask simple questions: who shares my life, my dreams, my hopes, my pain, my failures? Whose life and dreams, pains, failures do I share?
Is my faith community in relationship with other Church communities? Do we live and work as a part of our city?
In other words, how do I see my relational life and the relational life of my church? You + me + God = a trinity of persons and real life.
Is my life about sharing life, living in relationship or is my life about pleasing God? Is my life about developing loving bonds or “doing things” so as to earn what is already here and already mine to possess?