It’s autumn and the geese are flying south. Look out your window and see their V-formations.
They say a whole flock can fly about 70% farther with the same amount of energy, than if each goose were to fly alone. All the birds flapping their wings provides additional lift and reduces air resistance for all. So you can reach your destination quicker by using less energy!
There are advantages to being in a community.
Well, have you ever considered the Trinity as a community? It’s one of the best you’ll find.
Father, Son, and Spirit are in community with one another. Check this out:
16 And when Jesus was baptized—
immediately he went up from the water,
and behold– the heavens were opened to him,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
17 and behold– a voice from heaven said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
3 amazing People, eh?… but, it’s ONE amazing God. Hear oh Israel the Lord our God the Lord is one. We worship one God…… in Trinity. 1 God… in 3 persons! It’s a beautiful mystery.
Look at this image:
One line… but three interconnected loops.
There’s unity w/out uniformity– there’s 3 persons!
And distinction without separation– there’s just one God!
So Matthew 3 snaps a picture for us of these 3 Person’s of the Trinity relating with each other at the Jordan River.
That’s a novel thought. They relate with each other. They interact!
They form a community. God, in and of Himself, has community.
You know many people have the notion that God created people… because he was lonely. As if God lives in solitary. A single-person God.
You know what? God has never been alone. Think about that!
He has been in community with Himself from eternity past. So he didn’t create us out of need; he created us out of abundance.
Then God said, ““Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”
He creates us to be just like Him! We’ve got His community in our DNA. We are created in God’s image as relational beings because our creator is a relational God.
God is intensely relational!
So this scene in Matthew 3 gives us a taste of how God relates with Himself!
We see here that Jesus is affirmed and loved. He’s honored by the Father and the Spirit!
But this same Jesus doesn’t just receive honor, He also gives it out.
Listen to what He says of the Father:
- I do nothing of my own but only what I see the Father doing.
- I’ve come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Listen to what He says of the Spirit:
- It is good that I go away, for if I do not go, the Spirit will not come to you.
And what strikes me in all this is the sense of love and affirmation…
There’s no taking… only giving.
The Trinity constitutes an amazing community where each person of the Trinity is affirmed and loved. Each member defers to and relies on the other. Each favors and gives to the other. There’s giving and receiving. And there’s no competition or favorites.
Take a peek inside the Trinity… And you’ll see —
A harmonious, giving, and non-competitive environment where love reigns.
And you know… the church of God should be a reflection of the community of God.
So… if we’re gonna image God, like Gen 1:26 tells us we’re supposed to…
- We will forsake competitive strategies
- We will honor one another
- We will defer to the strengths of others
- We receive from one another
- Give to one another
- And submit to one another…
This is the image of God!
We will see the best in each other, and rely on each other, and bring it out! And we won’t be threatened.
Henri Amiel says,
Learn to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.
And you know the the Trinity does this!
The Father accepts who he is… he’s the leader… but he’s not the Savior.
The Son accepts who he is… he’s the savior… but he’s not the indweller.
The Spirit accepts who he is… he’s the indweller… he’s not the Father.
Aren’t you glad there’s not 3 Fathers… there’s not three wannabee Sons…
There’s Father… Son… and Spirit. There’s diversity! And in fact there’s unity in diversity!!!
Because they complement one another.
- We see the Father showcases His Son
- The Son glorifies the Father
- The Spirit anoints the Son
- And the Son gladly gives His followers the Spirit.
This is called being secure in your role. One is not better than the other. There’s equal status, just different functions.
This reminds us of marriage. We are equals, but have different roles. 1+1 = 1
This reminds us church.We are equals, but have different roles. 1+1+1+1+1 = 1
3 persons → One God
2 people → One flesh
Many members → One church
In each of these communities we should see…