The reality of God – Father, Son, and Spirit – Trinity as the most beautiful and mysterious and foundational community has been sinking into my mind recently. God created everything not because there was a lack of something, but because of the fullness of life within His being. For instance, the three plates on my kitchen wall represent the Trinity – the full life of God – extending beyond self. My husband and I get the rare privilege during these few weeks when our students are gone to have a meal with just the two of us. Meals with only us requires only two plates. We enjoy the presence of a third, or twenty five as was the case last week. We do this kind of sharing because we enjoy the company of others. We do not invite people over for dinner so that they are indebted to us. We give out of our abundance.
The third plate that hangs in my kitchen reminds me that God’s life in the Trinity is full and abundant and overflowing. The Trinity is the ultimate extension of hospitality.
Jesus, the Son, made manifest the reality of God in human existence. While he was living among us humans, he was fully human. He did normal things we do including work. He had apprenticed himself to his father so that meant that he was a carpenter. His craftsmanship was good, however, I’m sure that when he first began, he made mistakes in measuring or cutting.
“Remember that you always measure twice and cut once!” I can just hear the words of his father. It is fun to imagine all of the things that Jesus made in his shop. His mind and his hands equally engaged in the task in front of him while at the same time engaging with God through prayer. I can imagine that as Jesus cut the wood, he would have been giving glory to God. I’m sure he was asking that the fullness of the Trinitarian life be made tangible and beautiful to the senses of those who would sit at the table he was making. The table represents communication and communion with others. I’m imagining that the energy Jesus put into making a dining room table would allow the many others that ate around it to see that God does provide and that God is good.
The communion of the Trinity is all over the place in the Gospel of John. Jesus addresses his disciples regarding his departure. They did not understand that he was going nor did they get why he must go. The dwelling place that Jesus promised these believers that he was preparing for them had very little to do with a physical location (John 14:1-2). In the heart of the Trinity, the dinner table was being prepared and all of them and all of us were being sent invitations. This communication and communion with the Trinity is now open and available for all of us.
This kind of relationship is not reserved for mystics or ascetics or those in monasteries or at altars at summer church camp. It is not reserved for pastors or for those who have studies scripture or who have fancy theological degrees. It is open for anyone who wants it. I’m sure that there is plenty of Triniarian fellowship among “the religious” but this fellowship was never intended to be contained in those place. It overwhelms me how accessible Trinitarian fellowship is to me right here in my ordinary life. I do not have to be in some special facility to speak with Him. It is shocking to me that I can know, not simply “feel,” that reality right here….wherever here is and whatever this is that I am doing.
Finally, the section entitled Entering the Ordinary (page 14) in the Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard writes: (he is addressing how Jesus entered into ordinary life and ordinary work and that this was God’s way of arranging the delivery of His life to us) “If he were to come today as he did then, he could carry out his mission through most any decent and useful occupation. He could be a clerk or accountant in a hardware store, a computer repairman, a banker, an editor, doctor, waiter, teacher, farmhand, lab technician, or construction worker. He could run a housecleaning service or repair automobiles (and at one time Dallas included in this list a lady who owns a flower shop). In other words, if he were to come today he could very well do what you do. He could very well live in your apartment or house, hold down your job, have your education and life prospects, and live within your family, surroundings, and time. None of this would be the least hindrance to the eternal kind of life that was his nature and becomes available to us through him. Our human life, it turns out, is not destroyed by God’s life but is fulfilled in it and in it alone.”
Next time you are tempted to minimize how interested God is in your daily existence, come back to this thought: Trinitarian fellowship is available and the invitation has your name on it.
“Come and dine at the master’s table.”
By Rev. Roberta Mosier-Peterson at pastortiedye.blogspot.com