Like many people, I was saddened and shocked by the death of George Floyd last week, the unarmed black man so tragically killed by a police officer in Minneapolis. The outrage has caused dismay, riots and protests in the United States and other countries. George Floyd’s tragic death is yet more evidence of just how far from united the human race is. We still see ourselves as separate. We focus much more on our differences than on our similarities. Inequality exists where there should be equality, dissonance and not harmony, hatred instead of love.
If there’s anything that we should learn from this Sunday’s solemn feast of the Holy Trinity, it should be that it is love that should be the driving force in our communities. Only love can lead to unity. Many Christians can recite the first verse of today’s gospel: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life”. But the notion of God loving – and not condemning – our world is a mystery we can hardly fathom. This is because we don’t have the eyes and hearts for it, so we continue to see and judge the world by our flawed human standards. Our relationship with the world is much more discriminate, whereas God only has full love for it.
Every Sunday, we profess the Trinity in the Creed. It is a fundamental doctrine that is in many ways so difficult to understand. And yet, in other ways, it is so simple. God as the Holy Trinity is a community of three persons who live in loving communion. It is how God wants us to relate to each other. It is a community where mutuality, giving/receiving, and equality are enjoyed with no limits on time. This notion is so far from our experience. Our loves, after all, struggle to be mutual and our relationships are seldom equal. This Sunday, we are reminded that God the Father who loves the world and all its peoples gave his only Son so that we could come to believe. And this belief leads to the God-life that knows no limits. Who would not want a life like that? Like a good parent who offers options and prays a child will choose the good, our heavenly Father offers us eternal life through faith in Jesus. Eternal life can begin now. The question is do we believe it enough? Do we want it enough?