Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” ~Matthew 18: 18-20
Renowned theologian, Richard Rohr, in his book entitled The Divine Dance reflects on the writings on 12th -century mystic Richard of St. Victor (1123-1173). He wrote about the Trinity as a mutual, loving, companion of friends. What a fascinating idea, to think of the Trinity as a companion of friends. It makes sense. We are built for connection and relationship. And so is the God in whose image we are created.
Richard Rohr writes that “a divine foundation of relationship is what all religion, spirituality, and perhaps even politics, is aiming for. The Trinity offers us this precise gift—a grounded connection with God, self, others, and the world. This ancient doctrine dared to affirm that God is relationship itself. The way of Jesus therefore is an invitation to a way of living, loving, and relating—on earth as it is in God. We are intrinsically like the Trinity, living in absolute relatedness. While we may not always recognize it, we are all together in a web of mutual interdependence. When we recognize it on a spiritual level, we call it love.”
We are made for relationship. It’s in our human make-up. God created us this way, even as God’s self is united in community, too, in the community of God that we know as the Trinity. God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are interconnected and interdependent in divine love. The need for community and belonging is intrinsic. Even the introverts among us will spend some time in connecting with friends and family. The need for community is always there, and perhaps even more so now as physical distancing has limited our interactions. Part of what makes this time of physical distancing and quarantine, (or lock down in some parts of the world), so difficult is the very limited contact we have been able to have with one another.
We crave community. Be it worship, sharing a meal, a potluck lunch, or just going for coffee. Technology makes the connection possible and it has been a help, however, nothing can replace that sense of community as we sit around the same table, laughing, crying, just being with one another. For some, this human contact and connection will still be limited for quite a while longer. We lament greatly over this new “normal.” And we continue to use the technology afforded by phone, internet, online worship to connect as best we can in this time because we know that where 2 or 3 are gathered, be in it the same room or online, that God is in the midst of us, offering that sense of community that extends beyond what we can see or imagine. It is this divine love of the companion of friends, the Trinity, God, that unites us and gives us our life and being as the body of Christ.
O God of grace and love, you invite us into a Trinitarian sense of community with you. When we gather, in person or online, you are there. You are with us in profound ways in this time of limited contact, offering love, support, comfort, peace and grace. Without community in you, we are lost and even more alone. But with you, we have life despite the uncertainty and physical distancing. We thank you for your presence with us, and for your love made known in Jesus Christ our Risen Lord. Amen.