The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote, “We are caught in an escapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” A minister of God from the Christian faith, he understood, better than most, that living the life of God’s servant means becoming aware of the bigger picture at work. This is “God’s plan,” in a sense – but rather than a schedule of events, it is a description of purpose.
This weekend, the Christian tradition will celebrate “Trinity Sunday.” The concept of the Trinity is ancient and a mystery (i.e. really difficult to fully grasp). We believe that our One God is made up of three Persons – “One in power, substance, and eternity” (thank you Westminster Confession). They may have different roles, but at the end of the day, they are all part of the ultimate relationship that has ever existed. It is perfect love. Perfect community. Perfect communion.
Why does the Trinity matter to God’s “plan” for us? Because the plan is that we would live into being made in the image of God. That same God – who is perfect relationship and community and love. This is a relatively simple plan, in a certain way: for the instruction is that our lives are bound together with all others. They should matter as much as our own, or those closest to us. But while it may be simple, it is not easy.
We live in a world that constantly and consistently tells us that it is all about us, as individuals. Our wants. Our needs. Our rights. Scarier than this vision, is that much of the Christian “culture” has bought into this narcissistic conception of life. We do so at the expense, not of ourselves, but of the vulnerable, the hurting, those in need of every bit of care we can muster.
All of us have drunk the Kool-Aid at some point, because, frankly, “it’s good to be the king.”
But to live in that place where we care only for ourselves and those closest to us – that is against God’s purposes. It is, by almost all definitions, sinful. And we must, must, must, put an end to this train of thought and action.
If we want to claim to be Christ’s followers, it is our job to remember every single other person on this planet. It is our job to give everything for them – including our wants, sometimes our needs, and most definitely our rights when those same rights endanger them. This includes enemies. This includes strangers and foreigners. This includes all women, men, and children.
We must remember that we are all bound up together in one cloth of destiny. Our lives are knit together with everyone else. Why? Because we are made in the image of our God who is Perfect Relationship. This means every part of us – our faith, our relationships, our social status, our political leanings, our financial decisions, our very lives – is connected to every other person on this planet. We can no longer stick our heads in the sand as countless others are being hurt even unto death. We can no longer speak words of comfort as our lives bear no witness to God in our actions and decisions. We must do better.
My prayer for us, as we worship our Triune God this weekend, is that we will begin to truly grapple with how to make our lives better reflect the God of Communion, in whose image we are made and whose Love we serve. In all the simple ways. And even in the ways that may be incredibly difficult.