God in Community

Sarah Seibert

Read: John 14:23-31

The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things. (v. 26)

I know that living in community enriches one’s experience, but it sure is a lot of work. Sometimes, I just want to surround myself with what I know and love. I want food that is cooked the way I like it. I want to worship with music that I know and can sing. I want to spend time with my friends, not people whom I know I disagree with on any number of issues. Sometimes it’s just easier that way.

Yet the mystery of the Trinity—the image of God as a community—is deeply scriptural. In John 14, Jesus prepares his disciples for his departure and describes the relationships of one God in three persons. Each plays a particular role: Jesus teaches, the Father sends, the Holy Spirit reminds. Though each can do all these things, they willingly submit to one another for the joy of working together.

We worship a communal God who will graciously correct our skewed images of him. For example, it’s harder to believe in a cold authoritarian God when we remember the sacrifice of Christ; it’s difficult to over-spiritualize faith in light of the incarnation; and it’s also impossible to merely respect Jesus’ teachings and also believe that he fulfills the Law and the Prophets . We are not called to self-sufficiency but to interdependence with Christ and with fellow followers of Jesus—with all the blessings and challenges that entails. —Sarah Seibert

As you pray, thank God for establishing community that reflects his one-in-three nature.