Our participation in God's life and love

As we discuss Christ-centered (trinitaian) theology, a key issue is how we live out individually and together our inclusion with Jesus in God's triune life and love. This inclusion is not a concept - it's real life shared with a real person - Jesus!

Unfortunately, Christian living and ministry is often reduced to mere programs and strategies. And while these have their place, they are of value only as they assist and enhance Spirit-led participation with Jesus in his living and loving in our world. Ministry as relational participation places the emphasis where I think it rightfully belongs: relationships that embrace and reflect the life of the Trinity.

Consider our participation with Jesus in family relationships (an appropriate ministry concern). This topic is helpfully addressed in the book “Ecstasy and Intimacy” by Edith M. Humphrey. On page 157 she makes what I think is an essential point: through human fellowship (marriage, family and friendship), we experience “echoes of God’s own communion...Our human relationships are important in themselves, but remain holy and beautiful exactly in the proportion that they truly mirror the life of the Trinity, and indeed, point us to the One from whom all communion springs.”

This idea of human relationships as participation in God’s own triune relationship expressed in our world is what she means in referring to human communion as "a living icon of the Trinity.”
I think this important insight has great significance for our teaching and ministry in the church including construction of programs designed to come along side relationships, helping strengthen them as expressions and experiences of Jesus' living and loving.

This relational view of ministry programs and strategies sees them not as ends in themselves, but as useful scaffolds provided to help people connect with the ministry of the Spirit as he brings to us the life and love of Jesus.