Sunday 15th June: The Most Holy Trinity. Another church calendar date I have no clue as to why. So here we are: “Trinity Sunday falls one week after Pentecost Sunday, and it is the day that the Catholic Church has set aside to honor the most fundamental of Christian beliefs—the Holy Trinity. Traditionally, the Athanasian Creed was recited in Masses on Trinity Sunday.”
And just what is this creed? “The Athanasian Creed: Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity.”
http://catholicism.about.com/od/2014calendar/f/2014_Trinity_Sunday.htm (and follow the link)
I guess that means I should be in church today. Bummer! I had a lovely family day blooming and opening its petals! Now I have to pause that and trot off to church! Just enough time for a quick “quiet time” first … and then get my skates on! And today it is just one short verse:
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.’ John 3:16
And He stops the clock. Invites me in. If I allow. Because, with His fluorescent highlighter, He squeaks it back and forth through one word: “perish”. And then sits down.
Perish – but we are saved – aren’t we? Yet we all still seem to fear “perishing” (even though we all gather together and praise and pray and “believe”).
I am off to Mounce and the Teknia gadget.
“Perish” as best as I can establish from the range of contexts used for the Greek word, equates to “being no more” … I “never even existed”. Maybe our greatest fear is that. That no one even noticed (even Him?). Yet instead of wondering why we carry this inside of us … we just turn up and celebrate another “creed” … another ritual. And come away – still fearing no one will ever remember we were alive (not unless we fit in … receive another’s seal of approval … maintain our membership).
>>> Prior to today – and with hindsight (what else!) – He seems to have been preparing me for this moment. Because I have seen so many posts recently from many different bloggers. All with a similar undercurrent. A similar/different way of writing: beautiful words, beautiful writers, beautiful souls, lovers of Love and God and all things created. All with the same underlying theme.
A theme of fear.
A fear of being judged as irrelevant by others. Of being dismissed by others. Of being cast-out.
And as this is a virtual community of God – all in love with our lord … that is scary stuff!
* I know these words may upset others … * I am only a recent Christian … * I so often beat myself up … * I feel I am an outsider … * My thoughts are not appropriate … * I have questions I dare not ask … * I worry about a backlash from writing this … * I receive hurtful feedback …
This “advance preparation” was me bookmarking a number of posts. All seeming to have this same fear in different shapes and forms.
Because it saddens me – not because I am better, nor because I have something to offer. And not because I fear perishing any less than others. But because I drop pebbles. That is all I do. We talk, He guides, I plop. And my Lord owns the ripples. His work is those ripples.
And He guided another pebble today – this “important day” on the church calendar.
Perish. To never have made one tiny ripple. To have never existed.
That we get out from under the calendar of ritual and self-glorification. The ripple that is not of God. The ripple that is of Man (and Woman).
That ripple which causes me to compromise. To be someone I am not. To behave as someone I think I should be. Because the church says so because the calendar says so because they say so. And if I disagree I will be ever so lovingly and subtly and irrevocably cast out. I will perish – as though I had never been.
It is a ripple we feel. A ripples that pushes away. A pebble of fear. With manmade ripples.
Of not being good enough. Not clever enough. Not wise enough. Not loving enough. Not loving properly – yet. Not knowing how to love properly – yet. Not … not … not … not …
NOT HAVING BEEN SAVED “LONG ENOUGH” (ouch – that stings!!!)
“‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.’ John 3:16
I matter. You matter. Every single one of us matters.
He tells me I matter. He tells me I am important. No more no less than any other. He tells me to drop pebbles. He tells me he wants my ripples. He tells me they fit perfectly with just one single other. He says that without me …
… His one perfect other may be pushed away by this manmade ripple of fear.
… His one perfect other may even perish. Because they believed.
… His one perfect other may believe they do not matter.
He wants my pebble.
Because I am not newly saved … because my name was written in His book even before I was conceived.
I was saved before I was born. That is how much He loves me. That is why I will never perish. That is why I will always matter. Just like you. And you. And you. And …
Footnote: When he let the clock tick again, I see I have missed church. The one hour of service now almost over.
He just chuckled. Did that juggling thing with the highlighter. And pointed out that I am at church right now –
With Him. And with you.