Romans 5: 1-5; John 16: 5-15
Today is Trinity Sunday and we read and pray about the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but this concept of looking at God in three parts is difficult.
The Greeks understood the creative force of God to be the Word or Logos and at the beginning of his gospel, John tells us that the Word became human and lived among us in the person of Jesus. As we look at the loving interaction of the three persons that are God, as we read about them in Romans 5: 1-5 and John 16: 12-15, we can come to understand more fully that this creative power made the universe burst into life in the beginning; that the Father sent the Son to live among us; and that through the Holy Spirit, human creativity is inspired and guided.
Romans 5: 1-5 crackles with Paul’s particularly encouraging confidence that it is in our lives and our suffering that God’s creative power is seen, as God’s Holy Spirit is poured into us, creating a dynamic relationship. And what is to be our response?
Because God never tires in working to bring order out of chaos, good out of evil, peace out of conflict, we need to co-operate with this creative power of God. As we do so we will find that we become amazingly able to bring and see change in our lives and in our world.
As we read about the work that Jesus accomplished while he was on the earth, we can see how all those things: bringing good out of evil, peace out of conflict, order out of chaos meant that God was working through him.
So when Jesus said, ‘When you look at me you see the Father’ this also means that as we try to follow Jesus in our lives, the same should happen and people should see God
working in us too. To Jesus the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and the great work of the Spirit is to bring God’s truth to people. We have a special name for this bringing of God’s truth to people and we call it revelation.
There were many things which Jesus knew but which he couldn’t at that moment tell his disciples because they were not at that time able to receive them. It is only possible to tell a person as much as they can understand. We don’t start with Shakespeare when we are teaching someone to read, we work up to it! We don’t start with difficult passages to translate when we learn French or German at school, we start with the easy things. God’s revelation to people is like that, it’s a developing revelation. God can only teach us what we are able and fit to learn.
So, revelation comes to us from a living person. The nearer we live to Jesus, the better we know him. The more we become like him, the more he will be able to tell us. To enjoy his revelation we must accept him into our lives. Submission to Christ and knowledge of Christ go hand in hand. It is only to the person of God that God can reveal his truth. Let us as the people of God follow and come closer to the living Jesus so that we can be inspired and used to do the work of the Trinity.
Revd Jim Thorneycroft