6/16 Readings: One Love

Prov. 8:1-4, 22-31
Ps. 8 or Cant. 13 or Cant. 2
Rom. 5:1-5
John 16:12-15

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you, and remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20). The way of love, the way of evangelism, the way of renewal and revival, is “to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity … and to worship the Unity” (Collect for Trinity Sunday, 1979 BCP). Everything begins and ends in God.

This belief in the Triune God is found everywhere in what the Church confesses, teaches, and believes. When our beautiful Collects, those thematic prayers used each Sunday, address the Father, we conclude with “through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.” If the Son is mentioned near the end of a prayer addressed to the Father, the prayer concludes with “who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.” If the prayer is addressed to the Son, we conclude with “who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.” Prayers addressed to the Holy Spirit, though less common, presume (even if they do not mention) the Father and the Son. All Christian prayer is in the name of the Holy Trinity. This is no less true when the words of the Trinity are left out altogether. God is the presumed reality of Christian prayer and living.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Jesus, the Word and Son of the Father, is from everlasting. All that the Father is and has is poured out upon the Son in love, a begetting love from before time and forever. The Son is full of grace and truth and glory, and, in perfect freedom, returns the Father’s love without reserve (John 1:14). The Father’s begetting love bears fruit in the Son’s eternal love of the Father. This is a love story, for God is love. The love they share is no less God, for the Father begets entirely just as the Son responds completely. “The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands” (John 3:35). “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). This shared love is an eternal exchange that both is and includes the Holy Spirit. The God who is sometimes called “the unmoved mover,” the one without external cause, is ever moving in love internally, pulsing in the free gift of divine life and love and shared joy.

We know this not by speculation, but by God’s self-revelation. There is a process at work. Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears …. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine” (John 16:12-15). “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom. 5:5). The Spirit bears witness to our spirit that we are sons and daughters of God by adoption and grace, mystically united to Jesus Christ. Having Christ, we have all that the Father is. We are caught up in God, swept up in love. From this mystery, we pray and live.

Look It Up
Read Hymn 362.

Think About It
The Holy Trinity is perfect in power, in love, and purity.


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