“When Christianity says God, it says Father, Son and Spirit, existing in a beautiful, intimate relationship of other-centered love expressing itself in boundless fellowship and unutterable oneness. It does not speak of a being that is isolated or unapproachable, detached or indifferent. It does not speak of a legalist, or self-centered potentate, or an unmoved mover. God, for the Christian Church –at its best,anyway– is a relational being; three Persons, Father, Son and Spirit, sharing life and all things in other-centered love and incomparable togetherness.”- The Shack Revisited by C. Baxter Kruger, PH.D.

How many of you had this understanding of God delivered from a church pulpit, revival or flipping by the goofy televangelists? I surely did not. At best I was taught that the the Triune God was a mystery that we believed, but was really just a mystery we can’t possibly understand. Why has the church (at large) given up on communicating this beautiful understanding of God? I think if we maintained teaching this truth it becomes too relational and less about performance. As long as God remains an angry mystery then people can be controlled or manipulated.

“God is love” 1 John 4:16  Is it possible for love to exist without an object? I think this is something in the church we miss so much! God is love in community so intertwined that they are One yet never losing their distinctness. The Father has always loved the Son and the Spirit, the Son has always loved the Father and the Spirit, the Spirit has always existed inside of the love. We were birthed out of this utterly complete love that had no need of us yet wanted us! Can we begin to really relate to God this way?

I feel so damaged by the the Gospel sold to me. Here it is in a nutshell. God made me but can’t stand to look at me and would rather have me destroyed yet Jesus says “Whoa, I will make him presentable, I got a plan, I will be the bridge so to speak.” Then through Jesus alone God can begin to stand seeing me again if I take seriously what he has done. Sound familiar? ( I know there are more nuances to the normal Gospel presentations, this is a gist.)

What if out of the other-centered love of the Trinity, God chose to make me and everyone else to be invited into this cosmic relationship? What if Jesus wasn’t plan B? What if Jesus entering into our humanity had more to it than dealing with our sin?  What if God isn’t concerned with my performance as much as my relationship toward Him and others? What if the Father wants me to learn to live in relationship with him through Jesus by the Holy Spirit? Yes, truly this is not as marketable as an angry God and a merciful Savior standing in the way or even saved sinners doing the Lord’s work. But what if God isn’t concerned with a marketing plan? What if he desires relationship?

The reality is that Jonathan Edwards sermon (see https://soawakeandalive.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/sinners-in-the-hands-of-a/ )  and understanding of God is what drives the American church and maybe it always will. Maybe the Father is only concerned with His power and authority? Maybe Jesus wants servants more than brothers? Maybe the Spirit is more of a force than person that illuminates relationship? Maybe the Good News is simply too good to be true? This is not what I believe. The God that is love will not be limited by our limitations. God is patient and time is on His side. We all will know His love and relationship.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.