Deuteronomy 4: 32-34, 39-40 Romans 8: 14-17 Matthew 28: 16-20
It may well be the result of how I tend to look at things, but I consider it rather important to give thought to the approach we heard Moses take in what was recorded in the first reading we heard today from the Book of Deuteronomy. In order to make his point about the appreciation the Chosen People he was leading ought to show to God, he recalls their history for his listeners. He especially points out the history of their relationship with God and how important that relationship had been for them as well as how important it is for them at he time he is presented as speaking.
History is not just dry facts and dates. History is a source of learning and understanding a great deal. It tells of wisdom, or the lack of wisdom, in the choices that have been made or not made in the past. It tells of the results that might be expected because of those choices. It tells about beneficial or detrimental lessons that can be derived from those choices. We are brought together here today because of our faith. But it also because of the history of that faith as it was lived by those who have gone before us. We might be individually affected by the faith expressed within our own families. But we are also affected as a community of faith that has been St. Mel parish over the years. That, too, affects us here.
This faith is developed within the context of history. It is the history of the experiences, the choices that were made: the successes and the failures, the efforts and the convictions that have preceded us. It is a history that was and is based upon a firm belief and trust in God who loves and God who invites us to be children, bound in an intimate relationship. It is the history of God who invites us to be heirs, ones who will directly benefit from this loving relationship. The God of our faith and our history is, in essence, in reality, in being – love. God who is love is God who, essentially, is a relationship. Love does not exist unless there is one who loves and one who is loved.
This is what we declare in the belief that we express in saying that God is “Trinity.” We limp, we are inadequate, in the terms we use to describe the nature of God. We say God: Father, Son, Spirit. We say God: Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier. In whatever way we seek to describe God, we acknowledge God as a dynamic and active being. We acknowledge God as eternal and all-powerful in a genuinely dynamic relationship. It is God who then reaches out to us and offers us to live in a dynamic relationship as well.
This is the foundation of what we declare as our faith as Christians.. God’s presence, Gods’ essence is offered to us as the best means of understanding and appreciating who and what we are. God who is relationship offers a relationship to us as it has come down to us through history to this very day. God calls upon us to offer us a creative, loving, inspiring relationship in our lives and in our world. This is achieved by living and reflecting this is divine relationship day after day. In whatever situation we find ourselves: as spouses, parents, grandparents, children, siblings, friends, neighbors, co-workers, on the road or in the store, it is the value and respect shown in such relationships that is to reflect the triune god of our faith.
As Jesus completed his ministry and commissioned his followers, they were to go forth and declare this invitation. By baptism, those who responded were to be united with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were to be united in the name and the power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They, then, as we are to do now, are to bring this life, this inheritance, to all nations. In doing this we, and the world in which we live, are to be filled with the wisdom to know and to praise our good and gracious Triune God.