Life in the Spirit

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order
that we may also share in his glory.  Romans 8:15-17

Wind! Tongues of fire! God’s word spoken and heard in multiple languages! After all the energy and excitement of Pentecost, Trinity Sunday can feel like a bit of a letdown. The doctrine of the Trinity isn’t the easiest doctrine to wrap our heads around, and Trinity Sunday is a day in the church year that can easily get lost in the shuffle of holiday weekends, end-of-school year celebrations, and summer planning. And, yet, Trinity Sunday has something powerful to say to us about what it means to live in the Spirit, God’s Holy Spirit, who was poured out on us on Pentecost and who continues to live in us today.

When we say we believe in the Triune God, one God in three Persons, we are saying among other things that we believe in a God who is fundamentally relational. The persons of the Trinity, traditionally called Father, Son & Holy Spirit, live and move in a dynamic, mutually-loving relationship. The good news of Trinity Sunday is that God has invited us into that life-giving relationship.

How? Through God’s Holy Spirit. In Romans 8, the Apostle Paul reminds us that life in the Spirit means life in God’s family. Paul says, “The Spirit you received…brought about your adoption to sonship” and by the Spirit “we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ (Rom 8:15). Through the Spirit, we have been adopted into God’s family; Christ is now our brother. We belong. We belong to God – and we belong to one another.

What does this mean for us? It means we are on a journey of becoming the children of God we already are, of growing into what it means to live as members of God’s wonderfully large and diverse family. Sometimes our journey is smooth. Sometimes our journey is not. Sometimes it’s rocky and messy and hard. But one thing is always true: we are on this journey together. There is, quite simply, no other way to be on it.

Holy and triune God, you alone live in perfect relationship, One God in three persons, mutual and loving, ever seeking reconciliation and unity. You have called us to live in your completion, yet we confess that our relationships are imperfect and we are incomplete without you. We are selfish and greedy. We are anxious and resenting. We feel the shame of our foolish behavior and brokenness. We have allowed sin to drive us apart from one another and from you. Forgive us and restore us, draw us close and bind us together in your mercy. May we long for wholeness and peace, may we strive toward gratitude and grace. In the saving name of your son, Jesus Christ, and by the working power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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