Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
[2 Corinthians 13:11]
This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday. It is a day when the Church celebrates a doctrine, not an event, nor an ancient religious festival. Historians note that the early Christians were driven by their desire to know God more fully and to try to put into words their experience of God’s relationship to all creation.
I talk ad nauseam about relationship.
Human beings are social creatures. We were not meant to live alone, but in relationship with each other. When we are discouraged and overwhelmed with negative thoughts or feelings; when we are confused, and overcome with sadness and sorrow, there is nothing better than someone who is there to comfort, reassure and redirect our trust and give us confidence. No one is exempt.
The same is true when good things happen. When we are joyful, that joy is enhanced when one has someone else with whom to share it. Think back to the million-plus people who turned out for the Cavaliers’ victory parade last June when they won the NBA Championship.
Church is also about relationship – and more. At the root of relationships is love. You can’t fully or finally understand God without talking about relationship of love. Our greatest commandment is to love God and love our neighbor. The Kingdom of God is not one of isolation, but of relationship.
God is so full of love that there has to be some way of talking about that love shared in and through profound relationships. From the very beginning of time the dynamic power of love that is at the heart of God’s identity and character can only be captured by thinking of the love that is shared.
When God calls us, God calls us into community or into relationship with one another. That is why we are the church. We cannot be Christians by ourselves.
It’s Assembly week!
For the past four weeks, I’ve spoken about our Synod Assembly so much that you’re probably tired of reading about it. I’ll give you advance warning that I will mention it again next week when it’s all over.
This is now my third assembly as bishop. The anxiety level is higher because there are so many things happening that haven’t happened before. We experiment with electronic balloting. We have the youth event alongside the assembly.
Please keep us in prayer as we begin Friday morning at the Knight Center in downtown Akron.
And my prayer for you is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the three aspects of the Holy Trinity, encircle you in God’s love this week and always.
+Bishop Abraham Allende