Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sermon Cliff Note: How God Is Is Who We Are

To understand God as Trinity is to understand ourselves as church.
In the Orthodox tradition, the church is the icon – the visual sign and symbol – of the Trinity.  We – the church – are the incarnation of the Trinity in the present tense.
Trinity is not a unity of decision or will; rather, the Trinity is a unity of identity – unity is an integral part of who God is.  And because it is a unity of who God is, it is a unity of who we are.
But what does it mean to be one?  As Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 12:
For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body . . . the body does not consist of one member but of many.  If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. . . there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.  Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Thus, quite literally, to wage ‘war’ against each other is to wage war against ourselves.  In a very real sense, if I kill you, I die.
I am church and so are you, for without you or without me, there is not church, for we are always and only church together.
A poured forth people, we are God’s own icon. . . of the one-ness of the Loving God.  We’re the peace sign to a world at war with itself.  We’re the grace note to a world of discord.  We’re the solid ground, the standing place in a world off kilter.  We’re the glory of God shining into the darkness.  We’re the patient ones in the face of suffering, showing that there is nothing to fear.  We are the love of God poured forth into the heart of a world stretched beyond its patience, near if not beyond its own breaking point.  We are the heart of God laid bare to the world.
That is who we are.

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