I have been reading Eamon Duffy's collection of sermons, Walking to Emmaus, and was struck by some of what he said in a sermon about the Trinity. Like many other preachers, I have often (though not always) tried to avoid it as a theme, but I have sometimes been struck by the wonderful modelling of community that the Trinity provides. Duffy comments interestingly and helpfully on this.
“The doctrine of the Trinity tells us that God is not some immense cosmic individual, a lonely power before whom we must bow down and adore. The innermost being and reality of God which we are called to share is not isolation, but relationship: God is love.
And that means that we ourselves are not individuals first and foremost, and only then, and secondarily, members of a community. Mrs Thatcher, notoriously, once said that there was no such thing as society. The Christian proclamation of the Trinity insists that there is nothing else except society. We become people only in relation to others.”
Community matters - and we do need each other. Duffy also reflects that point.
“We must learn to live alongside each other not by avoiding speaking of our loves, but by listening to each other’s loves. We don’t need less faith in the city, we need more of it: more faith, more hope, more love, more idealism, more forgiveness, more concern for each other, more eagerness to welcome and care for the fragile and the unlovely, more attention to whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.”
How can we model better community?