Community of Love

trinityI was reading something yesterday that caught my attention. It was about some issue or other, political in nature, it matters not.

A commenter remarked that the problem with “getting the minority vote” (in this case the African-American) was that the “Democrat (sic) Party teaches all that stuff about mass entitlement and it’s hard to get those ‘ethnics’ to understand things like responsibility, individual hard work and the importance of our freedoms”.

Now we can move beyond the obvious racial tones exuded here, for that is not my point. The speaker here obviously heralds the Republican mantra that above all else are good Protestant values of individual efforts and personal responsibility. And there is merit in some sense to the argument. These are fine things. We all need them to some degree. They promote self-esteem and accomplishment.

Yet, we learn that the is certainly not the basis of our true place in the universe.  We are the product, as it were, of cooperation and community. So many things must come together in symbiotic relationship to make us–the laws of physics require that all work together in order to achieve a stable universe, and ultimately humans.

Is it any surprise to us that this is true? We know that our God mirrors that relationship in the Holy Trinity. God shows us by His very nature that we are meant to work in unity with others to achieve our truest selves. We are meant to be in community.

Some suggest as well that we are best from God’s point of view when we don’t think too hard about things, when we “have the faith of babes”. They take this to mean simple and unquestioning–never mulling over those things we do not understand, never reconciling those places in scripture which speak of things that we recoil at today. Yet in Proverbs, Lady Wisdom sets us straight:

“When the Lord established the heavens I was there,
when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep;
when he made firm the skies above,
when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth;
when he set for the sea its limit,
so that the waters should not transgress his command;
then was I beside him as his craftsman,
and I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while,
playing on the surface of his earth;
and I found delight in the human race.”

God delights in wisdom. God delights in our minds which surely is a mirror of His own. Wisdom found “delight in the human race” precisely because She realized the magnificence of God in that the sentient mind is a mind made for God, one she can join with and soar to great heights. See how God delights in Wisdom and see how Wisdom delights in human.

Wisdom can be who we are. Wisdom is the human mind that continues to crack the code of disease and bring relief and good life to millions. Wisdom is the human mind that creates new and amazing ways by which we can communicate with each other and bring the human family together no matter our physical distance. Wisdom enters the human mind and partners to eradicate fears and superstitions about physical processes.

The Psalmist marks forth the wonder of what God has wrought in perhaps my favorite lines from scripture:

When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place —
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?

You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet:

We stand in awe of our Creator as we should. We tremble to think of our place. Yet, God works in good measure. He gives us all we need to join with Him. God graces us with wisdom, with a well-ordered mind, and with the beautiful model of Trinity. When we take these gifts and marry them together in their own trinity, we soar as humans, and we touch the face of God.

From Meister Eckhart:

‘Do you want to know what goes on in the heart of the Trinity?
I’ll tell you.
At the heart of the Trinity
The Father laughs, and gives birth to the Son.
The Son then laughs back at the Father,
And gives birth to the Spirit.
Then the whole Trinity laughs,
And gives birth to us.’



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tim
    May 26, 2013 @ 22:29:50

    Sherry–dare I say it? ;-)–there is so much wisdom here! I truly believe that many of our problems are rooted in our reluctance to admit we are wonders of Creation. We have somehow been deceived to believe such attitudes are “proud.” I really haven’t much of value to add here; you’ve done such a splendid job. But you do bring to mind a quick anecdote.

    When I was a teenager. I spent a lot of time hanging around a large church filled with wise older people. An utterly brilliant church “mother” took me under wing. We’d sit for long stretches and talk quietly about all sorts of things as we waited for service to begin. One Sunday night–I don’t recall the context of the conversation–she said, “There’s a very fine line between pride and praise.” I asked what she meant and she answered, “When you think you’re something because of what you’ve done, that’s pride. When you know who you are because of what God has done, that’s praise.”

    If more of our self-confidence sprang from God’s work in our lives, we wouldn’t suffer the ills of pride (and its nasty cousin, prejudice). What would our world be like if more of us understood the power and implications of honest praise?

    This is a beautiful contemplation today–a reminder we hear too seldom, one we need to hear often. Thank you.

    Blessings and peace,


    • Sherry
      May 27, 2013 @ 09:39:46

      Thank you for such a beautiful story. I see great wisdom in that story, and it punctuates perfectly that very fine line. If reminds me of something that I heard somewhere. What good I do is all God, what bad I do, is all me. I think it paraphrases something Paul said, but I’m not sure. This is such a day of remembrance. It is a humbling day for some reason. Although I am busy with cooking, my thoughts return again and again to those who have given the last full measure, especially all those who returned home wounded in spirit and have lived or not with that awful burden. Indeed, it reminds me to be thankful for God’s great blessings. May your day be blessed and joyful as we remember. !END


  2. aliceny
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 19:44:09

    Sherry: I just found this small excerpt on Rachel Held-Evans site today (June 23).
    I thought of your site immediately (Walking in the Shadows) and also the title of this post, Community of Love. Don’t know how to send it to you as a link, so I took a screen shot:

    “…We turn our backs on all the gay brothers and sisters already in our church…, already following Jesus. Our ‘us vs. them’ narrative leaves little space for those who didn’t choose to be gay but did choose to follow Jesus. Using ‘gay’ and ‘sinner’ interchangeably, we force them away from the Table and into the shadows.” (Micah J. Murray, “Why I can’t Say Love the Sinner/Hate the Sin Anymore.”


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