Thursday, February 28, 2013

What the Trinity is Doing

Thursday, February 28, 2013 -- Week of Lent 2 (Year One)
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, Educators, 1964, 1904

[Go to for an online version of the Daily Office including today's scripture readings.]

Today's Readings for the Daily Office

     (Book of Common Prayer, p. 952)
Psalms        [70], 71 (morning)     //       74 (evening)
Jeremiah 4:9-10, 19-28
Romans 2:12-24
John 5:19-29

As you read today's passage from John's gospel, think of the dynamic life of the Trinity -- God pouring out the divine life completely in love for the Son; the Son receiving fully the divine love and responding by a similar emptying of love toward the Father; the Spirit realizing the ultimate value in relationship as the very love that unites. "Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise."

And what is it that the Father and the Son are doing in the Spirit? Our catechism sums it up in the word "reconciling." God is reconciling the world. Sometimes we use the word "salvation" to describe what God is doing to reconcile the world. Salvation comes from the Latin word for "wholeness" or "healing', like the word "salve", a healing ointment.

Marcus Borg has a helpful list of the various meanings of salvation found in Scripture.

Salvation is:
  Light in our darkness
  Sight to the blind
  Liberation for captives  
  Return from exile
  The healing of our infirmities
  Food and drink
  Resurrection from the land of the dead
  Being born again
  Knowing God
  Becoming "in Christ"
  Being made right with God ("justified")
(from The Heart of Christianity, p. 175)

That list is what the Holy Trinity is up to. Pouring out the divine life, the energy of love and being, healing and reconciling the world.

A friend told me a story about a mutual friend of ours who hates boring meetings. But, like most of us, she's got to sit through some of them. Before one meeting that she anticipated would be especially long and boring, she conspired to play a game with several others who would be attending. She gave them each a list of everyday words that wouldn't usually show up in the conversation of their committee -- (I forget the illustration, but it was something like "refrigerator," "dog food," etc.). Every time someone could work one of those words into the committee conversation, they would get a point. But, they had to use the word in a normal way so that no one would suspect they were playing. Whoever used the most words from their list won. She said it made a boring meeting much more enlivening.

How about this? Take the list of Biblical meanings of salvation, and see how many you can spot happening sometime today. It might make an otherwise ordinary day more enlivening.



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