Like water on dry ground...
That mostly unsaid creed - The Athanasian or Quicunque Vult - begins by stating that anyone who wants to be saved “it is necessary that he hold the Catholic ( ie Universal) Faith.” And I remember my lecturer in doctrine saying really this means in modern parlance that you have to be ‘grabbed and gripped by the Truth.’ And the Truth is especially the Holy Trinity. Be that as it may ... something glorious happened in my life and ministry when I realised that the Trinity had laid hold of me, and that even before the foundation of the world! Remember the God whom we worship, the God we confess in our creeds, the God in whose name we are baptised, the God who is our Creator, Sustainer and Mighty Deliverer, the God in whom we trust and pray to is the Three-in-One, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All well and good. Now comes the glory of this! The Trinity isn’t something the Church came up with to confuse our puny minds. Rather the Trinity is who God tells us he is. So the Father shows himself as GOD FOR US from before all eternity. He will not be God without us. He decided in his grace that we would be creatures living out of his delight and through his mercy. He makes us for himself. In his unshakable love, he wills that we be with him. So this same God reveals himself also to be God the Son, GOD WITH US. In the Son God faces the awful
nature of our sin - at its base a desire to live away from this friendship that God is seeking with us. The sinner loves to be self reliant, shut off, and undisturbed by the insistent love of God. God can’t allow us to destroy ourselves. So Jesus becomes one with us. He steps right into our messy desolation and he takes upon himself all our wickedness on the cross. And as he takes it upon himself he bears it away - the Lamb of God “who takes away the sin of the world.” He reconciles us to the Father who has only ever wanted our best. And his being raised again means that our past, present or future sins, need never keep us from the eternal embrace. He stands for ever, God with us, God standing up for us. The miracle doesn’t end with an event 2000 years ago. God by the Holy Spirit is now GOD IN US, renewing and transforming us from the inside out. Through his effective work in us, we increasingly hate sin and love his Word; we love singing the praise of the Trinity; and as we share the very fellowship of Father, Son and Spirit, we love to invite others into this astonishing relationship. We find in his fruit and gifts residing in us a delicious sense of newness and vitality.
And this God will bring us through all the hurt and pain and madness and sorrow of this present world to an eternal home where there will be no dulling of the delight, or fading of the fascination; and life in all its fullness will expand exponentially, and round every corner there will be a wonder. This God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is our God for ever. Praise Him.