The Trinity and Human Relationships
We will never turn our back on you; breath life into our lungs so we
can shout your name! Psalm 80:18 MSG
The last three months have been an absolutely beautiful time
for me as I have returned to my home church and begun ministering here once
more. Three months?! It feels like I just got here- time flies when you’re
doing youth ministry eh?
Since I’ve arrived, it’s been on my heart to teach through
God’s story, the story that we all live in and under as those made in His
image. The story that begins with creation (Gen 1) and ultimately ‘ends’ with
renewed creation (Rev 21)- my heart beats to proclaim this to the next
generation. On Tuesday and Wednesday night youth group we have been walking
through the narrative of scripture in a twelve part series; we are currently
four weeks into it. I believe if we don’t understand where we came from, we
will have no idea where we are going- and even much less what we are suppose to
be doing today.
The universe and everything in it was created through God,
by God and for God. He beckons us into a life giving relationship with Him, but
ultimately doesn’t need us. That might sound a little cold, but it’s ultimately
a very freeing truth. Life isn’t about me, it’s all about Christ. In trying to
help students grasp this foundational concept, I believe God shared this with
me in my 1989 Honda Accord in the DCC parking lot about the power of
Let’s switch gears now
and let me paint you a picture of days past…
The year is 19xx and your parents were thoroughly enjoying
life with each other. They had hair, good looks, excellent style and were
anything but boring. You (and your siblings?) hadn’t been born yet. They
dreamed big dreams and were excited for the future as they navigated life
together. As a product of their (hopefully) loving union, life flowed from
their relationship and now you enter the scene. Out of their relationship you
came into existence. Their relationship didn’t depend on you for its existence
but you were now participating in the relationship that your parents shared
between themselves. Outside of your parents, you wouldn’t have had life. As a
young child, if you had chosen to reject this relationship, it would have tragically
ended in your demise.
In a similar vein, before the Triune God went about creating
everything we see around us today, God was fully complete and satisfied within
the intimate relationship He had with himself.
It wasn’t like He woke up one particular Monday morning feeling lonely
and decided to create the universe with people to worship Him, complete Him and
make Him feel better about being God. The Triune God, consisting in Father, Son
and Holy Spirit was lacking nothing in an unending bond of perichoretical
(Google that) love. It was out of this life giving relationship that the
universe was birthed. Genesis tells us that God spoke creation out of his
mouth. Let that sink in for a second. God spoke
universe out of his mouth.
A God that was full of love and free of need, made you, me, and everything that
is seen and unseen.
It’s for our joy and the Triune God’s glory that we
recognize these foundations.
“Ok Piper, I’m a pragmatic person, so what does this all
mean?” Great question. As I survey scripture, I believe the Bible points to a
relational, life giving God who desires fullness of life for all His creatures.
As the source of life, only in relationship with Him is it to be truly found. We
as the disobedient creatures we are, at one point defiantly shook our fists at
the heavens with delusions of entitled grandeur. But really, it’s not about us.
It’s about the God that brought us from the dirt with his breath of life. When
his first disobedient children walked away from him, He didn’t leave them to
their own devices. He very well could have, but out of his deep love He
relentlessly pursued his wayward children. In Genesis 12, God selects a man
named Abraham to be the medium of his blessing to the entire
world. We stand in continuity with this promise as the adopted
children of God, compelled by
the knowledge of our Great Father to bless others. We have found life in this
relationship that we have been invited into.
Relationships are powerful. The first three of the Ten
Commandments are about our relationship with God and the next seven are about
our relationship with others. Broken relationship with God leads to broken
relationship with people. For us to live out of the commission of Genesis 12:3,
how are we as the community of faith inviting others into this life giving
relationship with our Father through his Son? It plays out in a variety of
ways, but I believe it starts with us surrendering our hearts to his good news (Gospel)
that He is Lord, and us inviting those around who don’t know our Father into
this family. God truly didn’t need us but out of his complete relationship with
Himself, He allowed us to partake in His
Ultimately, it’s not about me
as I exist only by His will and it is for my joy to be about my Father’s
business. All of our relationships are about building for God’s Kingdom.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ’s life should flow through us and
be visible to those around us.
if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is
here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through
Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was
reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against
them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We
are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal
through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God
made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the
righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NIV