1 + 1 + 1 = 1

In the trinitarian dogma God is one, good, and true, and beautiful because [God] is essentially Love, and Love supposes the one, the other, and their unity.  Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)

Here are a couple of news notes from this past week that you might have missed:  (1) On Wednesday night, President Obama called Governor Romney to congratulate him on winning the Republican nomination for President.  (2) On Thursday, President Obama welcomed former President Bush  and First Lady Laura Bush to the White House for the official unveiling of their portraits to be hung in the White House.

in the midst of all the ugliness that becomes a part of our political scene, it is nice to know that for a few moments people can pause  and be civil.    Civility does still exist.  Despite differences and animosities, a pleasant face and kind words can be exchanged.  IT CAN BE DONE!  [Former President Bush said — he knew that when the word got out that he was going to be “hung” in the White House, there would be a good crowd.]

    In the coming months we will be regularly divided into “blue states and red states”, into urban voters and rural voters, and into minority and majority groups.  The views of women and men will be contrasted as well as those of people who belong to various economic groups.

One of the messages that God teaches through the mystery of the TRINITY is diversity in the midst of unity.  We profess in faith that there is ONE God — in the ONE God, there are three distinct persons.    There are distinct persons — there are different persons.  There is ONE GOD.

Remember last week when Scripture reminded us that while there are different gifts, there is but one spirit who gives the gifts?  Remember that we were reminded that whether we were Jew or Greek, free or slave — we were all given to drink of the one Spirit?

We worship a tri-une God — three, yet one.

Over the years the Church has fought literal and figurative battles/wars that have divided the “faithful” — people have thought over dogma and theology; people have fought over the preaching style of the pastor; people have fought over the color of the carpet and the “best” music for worship; people have left the Church because they were not elected chairperson of the usher board.

Maybe rather than trying to understand or explain the mystery of the Trinity, we ought to worry more about living the mystery as to come to KNOW GOD.    To know the peace of God, the love of God, it might help if we believe that ….

[1] harmony/unity is more important than theology …

         Theology is important … theology — the expression of our understanding of God — makes us who we are as a “people” — there are a few essential elements that we must share — but are there not more on which we can differ and still be part of the same faith-family?  The wholeness of the body, the unity of the body, the body itself is more important than what we hold to be true.  Who really understands the totality of faith?  Who really senses completely what God is teaching?  Who can totally explain the Trinity?  At some point, to be one requires that we say unity is most important and on some things, we will simply disagree.

[2] we must do more than tolerate our differences, we must respect our differences — everyone wants a little peace and quiet …. everyone wants a good nights sleep — everyone wants to love and be loved — while we are so different, there are some things we all want …

While we are sometimes so frustrated with the bickering in Washington and in our State Houses, when we see the fighting in the streets around the world, we know that somehow we still feel that we are stronger because of our differences and we are bigger than our differences.  When Congresswoman Giffords from Arizona was shot, people crossed party-lines to sit together ….somehow at that time, something was more important than the differences that were real.

We do not have to ignore our differences or gloss over areas of disagreement.  But, we can still respect the persons who think differently than we do.

While we argue over who is right — there are vultures overhead waiting for us to “wipe out the other” — all the time, the needs of those we are called to serve are being untended.

This past week, the History Channel ran a three-part series on the legendary feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys — it seems, history tells us, that this feud of many generations began with an argument over who owned a pig —- and from there, came shootings, hangings, house burnings — and down-right hatred.

Could it be that God “leaves the house” when the fighting starts — and returns only when there is civility and harmony?  Where does that leave us?

hjm

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