By Rev Angela C Bosfield Palacious
Within the family, we soon discover that there are different ways to love different people. For example, the love for parents, siblings, spouse and children are not the same. This may be taken a step further to ponder how the love for each parent, each sibling and each child varies. Add to this the mandate to love God, neighbour and oneself, and we see the nuances of human love are quite extraordinary.
When we think of the Trinity we are flooded with thoughts of many kinds. Here are but a few to consider:
The three-way love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
The love in action of our creator, redeemer and sanctifier
The perfect unity existing between them as in a trefoil or three-leafed clover
The uniqueness of each as in the images of water, ice and steam
The invitation to join them in the harmony of their intimacy
What comes to your mind when you think of the Trinity?
Scripture makes no direct reference to the word Trinity, but we are offered many glimpses of the mystery of the relationship between three persons who are also one:
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28: 19-20).
This is the Great Commission that Jesus gives his disciples at the end of Matthew's Gospel. It is also His word to each Christian.
In John 15, He introduces the disciples to the Holy Spirit in language that again speaks of the unity and individuality of the members of the Trinity:
"When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father-- the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father--he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning." (John 15:26-27).
We receive our word from the Lord through the message of the Holy Spirit. Our ongoing revelation comes from the Father to us in this manner.
At the baptism of Jesus, we are aware of the Trinity being together yet playing different roles:
"As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3: 16-17).
We are each expected to develop our own personal relationship with each person of the Trinity. How do you understand the love your Creator has for you? What would have motivated God to create you in the first place? What is the part that you play in the overall plan of creation?
How do you understand and respond to the love that your Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ, has for you? What would motivate Him to agree to such extreme suffering for you?
How do you recognise the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life? How do you cultivate the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit unless you are under the control of the Holy Spirit?
Spend some time thinking about all of these questions and others that will come to you during your time of quiet reflection. God desires and deserves our undivided attention in order to be loved, worshipped and served in a way that is both one-way and three-way, at the same time.