Reflection from Pastor Hoffman:
Relationship. It’s all about relationship.
This Sunday, we celebrate the festival of the Holy Trinity. It’s a tricky festival, because it’s not a celebration of an event. It’s a celebration of a mystery – the mystery of God-in-three-persons.
We worship a God of relationship. God does not exist apart from relationship. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. Three-in-one and one-in-three. Made in the image of God, we do not exist apart from relationship either. We are connected in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine, as many have discovered during this pandemic and begun to see the far-reaching consequences of our actions and interactions. We are interdependent, but we don’t live as though it is so. We are divided by race, privilege, power, politics…the list goes on. These divisions threaten our relationship – our unity – with God and one another.
We will hear the final words from the gospel of Matthew: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19) Jesus’ mission on earth was to draw all people into relationship – with God and each other, and that’s the work Jesus entrusted to us to continue.
As we gather for worship, we celebrate our God of relationship by giving thanks for the relationships we share beyond our local congregation. We will hear God’s Word proclaimed by our Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, as will most other churches across our denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We will hear greetings from our brothers and sisters in our twinned parish in Shurugwi, Zimbabwe, as we celebrate the relationship we share in Christ as part of Companion Synod Sunday. (The Upstate NY Synod of which we are part is a Companion Synod to the Lutheran Church in Zambia and the Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe.) Through worship in these ways, we celebrate that we are not an island, but in relationship with Lutheran Christians across the country and around the world, loving God and serving God’s people together.
May our worship give shape to living our lives in relationship with God and restoring us to relationship with one another.