This theme, Vibrant Life in the Trinity, popped up in my life as an answer to a growing frustration–one can find many churches that focus on Jesus and his redemptive role in salvation, or that focus on the all-encompassing love of the Father, or that focus on the crazy and demonstrative activity of the Holy Spirit.
I am a follower of Jesus, often what is referred to as a Christian. If you ask me to be more specific, I’d tell you I am a charismatic Anglican. Being in the minority of Anglicans and Charismatics has forced me to examine what I am really looking for in Body life (We charismatic Anglicans have a very small piece of this Venn diagram, in the United States at least; this doesn’t include African Anglicans).
My original thought about this theme was to call it “Vibrant Life in the Spirit,” for the reason that in the churches I’m drawn to (which tend to be liturgical and historically focused), there is a marked absence of a welcome to the Holy Spirit. Yes, He’s part of the Godhead when we cross ourselves. Yes, He is the agent of the conception of Jesus according to the Scripture and the Creeds. Yada, yada. He’s weird. He spurs people to do crazy things (like preach in a public forum without an invitation! Acts 2…) He makes us liturgical Christians uncomfortable. So we treat Him more like the Holy Sidekick than the Holy Spirit.
So, it’s not just a vibrant life in the Spirit, or even in Jesus, or just in the Father. It has to be a vibrant life in the Trinity. The Holy Spirit loves making Jesus known to us–it is His favorite thing. He is so in love with Jesus that He can’t help but show the way to Him. And Jesus is so enamored by the Father that He just wants to show us what the Father is really like. And the Father so longs for relationship with the humans He created that He sent His Son to be sacrificed for our sins and His Spirit to breathe the life of God into us. Three in One and One in Three. It is a great mystery that drives me to live life as fully as I can in the revelation of the Trinity.
So, what does a vibrant life in the Trinity look like for me? It means specifically learning, through the Scriptures and tradition, Who each Person of the Godhead is. It means studying. It means asking. It means being willing to be uncomfortable–with the prodigal’s running Father in Luke 15, with the scandalous Jesus fraternizing graciously with sinners and still calling them to a higher road, with the Spirit’s wacky methods to preach Who Jesus is in front of large crowds who think I’m drunk in the morning.
It means meeting Jesus as He prays ‘the Lord’s prayer’ to His Father and asking to be drawn in to that relationship. It means learning to love myself the way my Father does, giving myself grace when I don’t deserve it and taking things one step at a time, just like a baby learning to walk. It means seeking out prophecy, because the Spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.
It means coming to the Cross, beholding the crucified Lamb. Grieving with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Partaking in the drama that is the redemption of the world.
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ whose love for humans is of such magnitude.
The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.
The Holy Pneuma who fills all in all.