Theology

Worshipping the Trinity

This past week I fell in love with the song “Only True God.”

Verse 1

Beyond us, God within us
Revealed, yet we see in part
Transcendent, but so near us
Mystery dwelling within our hearts

            Verse 2
Majestic God above us
Enthroned, yet You wash our feet
Humble, but so holy
All of creation bows when You speak

Chorus
Father – Spirit – Son:
Only true God
Exalted, three-in-one
Only true God, only true God

The chorus randomly jumped into my thoughts & wouldn’t leave for days. Shortly after, I realized that Leanne Van Dyk’s chapter on the Trinity in her book A More Profound Alleluia explains the beauty that is found in these lyrics. Van Dyk describes how humans were created to live relationally, in communion with the Lord and people, as He is in communion with Himself and His people. It sounds simple – we live in communities all our lives, of course we were created to be relational. Yet, it astounds me that we are created this way because God lived in communion with Himself before the human race began. What a beautiful parallel between God and man, an incredible example of the Imago Dei in humanity.

After noting the connection between “Only True God” and Van Dyk’s chapter, I came to realize that I highly value singing to each person of the Trinity.

Recognizing God as Father, Savior and Comforter requires so much depth of thought. Verbalizing the entire Trinity forces me to think not only of how God relates to me at the present time but who He is in light of eternity. It redirects me from focusing on my needs in worship by reminding me that He is far greater than the ‘Lover’ or ‘Comforter’ I feel in the present moment. I am in awe that I can call out to the Lord as both the King over all and the Intercessor who pleads for me.

I find joy in the mysterious paradoxes of God’s characteristics that are true only because of the Trinity. He is “Transcendent, yet so near us” and “Humble, yet so holy.” What magnificent love is this! How can we keep from joyfully singing to our great God when we recognize His love for us as a Father, Savior and Comforter?

Advertisements
Asking the Right Questions

Why Splenda Is Hurting the Church

  • The biggest biblical idea about sin, expressed in a riot of images and terms, is that sin is an anomaly, an intruder, a notorious gatecrasher. Sin does not belong in God’s world, but somehow it has gotten in. In fact, sin has dug in, and, like a tick, burrows deeper when we try to remove it. — Cornelius Plantings Jr

Sin is like artificial sweetener.

Let me back that up, please, before you go crazy. Sin is an anomaly. Cornelius Plantings Jr said it himself. Sin is a fake, a falsehood. Sin is the guy who shows up to the party and eats your food and drinks your beer and pretends to know the friend of your wife’s sister from way back, don’t you remember? It’s Mike, from high school? Right? We had 6th period science together? Oh come on man.

Sin is artificial sweetener. Sin might even be corn syrup, because hey, that’s a little more applicable. Sin is in everything. It’s in baked goods, sodas, fried chicken, ketchup. It’s as if you can’t get away from it, unless you decide to grow your own food and never make jellied candies. But sin is dangerous. Sin is tasty. Drink a diet soda once, and you’ll probably dislike it. But say you’re like me, on a diet, and diet soda is your only chance at bubbly swill. You get used to it. It’s no longer a question of preference. It’s the choice between apathy at the singularity of the choice and habituation at your surroundings.

But that’s not all folks. Sin has a market. Sin has analysts and CEOs and Marketing Directors and great graphic designers. Name your poison, and sin can glamourize it. You really like shopping? Don’t worry, your kids can wait, that purse is only on sale for the first 3 minutes of Black Friday! Do you like passion? There’s nothing wrong with drunken debauchery during your college years! It’s expected! Nobody gets hurt! You can even pretend like it never happened! Or maybe you like something innocent, like food, or God forbid, smoking. Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter if you have a heart attack at 28 or lung cancer by 30, it was God’s plan for your life! He didn’t need you here for the next 80 years. He used you all He could, and it’s okay to leave early because at least it tasted good, right?

But that’s the thing. You can trick yourself, you can alter the light and add some vapors and even color correct later on, but your portrait is off. You can say you prefer Diet Mountain Dew or Coke Zero, you can even pretend like you’re actually being healthier, even if it means you drink 4 cans instead of 1 every night, because it’s not hurting you. It’s not taking years off your life to have a cigarette. It’s only a day or two, right?

But sin is a fake. God does not delight in fakes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a knockoff t-shirt with “Call of Duty: Spiritual Warfare” or edited Game of Thrones, or even Diet Soda. It’s not the same to pretend to care about a death in the family, because you made your casserole and moved on with your life. It’s not the same to only look at porn just this once, because nobody’s getting hurt. This is a falsehood. God does not delight in falsehoods.

But Josiah, how do you know?

Because Jesus is the truth. Jesus is the light. Jesus is the way. Jesus is not a diet, a fad, a just this once. Jesus is an all day caller, asking you “How is your day really going?” Jesus is sugar, and sin is sucralose.

As a caveat, I find it funny that Jones Soda (made with real sugar!) fills me up with a can, as opposed to Coke Zero. But you can take that as you wish.

So here’s the truth guys. I love aspartame. I enjoy sucralose. Splenda is my friend. Because I am dieting and this is the only way I get close to sweetness. But when it comes to spirituality, when it comes to God and People and Relationships and the Church, the only way to go is real sugar. Don’t get caught up in the chase for something sweet and fleeting, when something filling and real is knocking at your door, asking to come in and eat dinner (or cake).

~ Josiah