Aloha Friday Message – June 9, 2017 – Koinonia

1724AFC060917 – Koinonia

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity ~~ June 11, 2017

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2 Corinthians 13:13 [14] 13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. [Enumeration of verses differs in other translations. Follow the link to see that.]

¡Que la bendición esté siempre con ustedes y que Dios los bendiga, Amados! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Belovéd!)

So what is that, Koinonia? And why did I choose it for today? Κοινωνία Koinonia {koy-nohn-ee’-ah} means fellowship, association, community, communion, distribution, contribution, or to communicate. This word partially describes the way we share in the life and mission of the Body of Christ, and also hints at how the Holy Trinity is a single community of Three Divine Persons.

I am asking you to click on these three links so see what they say. When you open them, you can pick one version – “translation” – to read, or you can compare them side by side.

Matthew 28:19, 1 Peter 1:1-2, 1 Samuel 16:13

You can also find more information about the Holy Trinity here. The trinity is difficult to explain which is why it’s difficult to understand; or perhaps it’s the other way around – it is difficult to understand because it is difficult to explain. As we tell our RCIA students, it is a Mystery, something so outside of our experience that we cannot properly envision how it could work. We have the same sort of Mystery to deal with when we try to understand the Resurrection, or the Incarnation for that matter. We can get into discussions about the “generative” and “spirative” processes in the Trinity, but that doesn’t really make it any easier. When it comes to the Holy Trinity, we’re “Lost in Space.” I would like to use a couple of scriptural examples of Mysteries that are just as mind-blowing, but which we seem better able to accept. Perhaps this is because we’ve been exposed to The Bible According to Otto Preminger.

Mr. Preminger was a fabulous director and occasional producer in Hollywood. One of his most famous files was Exodus starring Charlton Heston. We all know that movie, and we all remember the scene where Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry land. We find that a little easier to believe because we have seen it – at least seen how it was portrayed. Did you know that Israel – and even individuals – crossed rivers on dry land in other Biblical accounts? The first time was at the edge of the Red Sea – with Pharaoh’s army right on their heels – but later, they crossed the Jordan River on dry land? Here are three examples of the crossing “on dry land.”

Exodus 14 – Israel passes through the Red Sea on dry ground. (See Exodus 14:21-22)

Joshua 3 – Israel crosses the Jordan on dry ground some forty years later (See Joshua 3:17)

2 Kings 2:8 Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

It seems to me, that with the help of Mr. Preminger, we can “accept” the idea of Israel crossing the Red Sea on dry land, then it is just as plausible that they crossed the Jordan River on dry land. We’re talking about God here, and God’s omnipotence is well-attested throughout Scripture. Elijah was certainly one of the greatest-ever prophets, so the idea that he could smack the river with his mantle and then God would cause the waters to part is the same sort of Mystery as the Red Sea and Jordan River crossings. In the same line of reasoning, it does not seem preposterous that Elijah would be swept up into Heaven in a Fiery Chariot (See 2 Kings 2:11), or that Jesus walked across the Sea of Galilee (See Matthew 14:22-33).I have never seen any of those events depicted in a Hollywood film, but I can imagine them because I can imagine the water-crossings of the Israelites. If we can get our heads around those Mysteries, then it seems that it must be possible to conceptualize the Trinity as well. Maybe you will remember an essay call Whole in One.

In that essay, we read: If we are Disciples of Christ, we know that Jesus named the three Persons in the Trinity at the end of the Gospel of Matthew – our opening verse. You will remember, though, that even the Disciples who were there with him throughout his Mission just couldn’t grasp that Jesus was God – and we have Jesus’ word on it that he is. Consider this, for example: John 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” And also Jesus’ testimony about his relationship with God is spelled out in John 10:30 30 The Father and I are one. In John 1:1-4 we read, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. Jesus – the Logos of God – was there at Creation when the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. The whole trinity was there.

Again, at Jesus’ Baptism, the whole Trinity was there. We interact daily with the whole Trinity, for whenever we pray to God we pray to God-in-Three-Persons. Even if we pray, “Loving Heavenly Father,” or “Jesus my Lord and my God,” or “Spirit of the Living God,” we pray to God-in-Three-Persons. God is the Whole of Divinity in One Being – he’s not “the force,” he’s not “the guy upstairs,” he’s not “the intelligent designer.” He is GOD – known by many names to be sure (see 818AFC050208), but still just GOD-in-Three-Persons – Blesséd Trinity. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God or our Salvation. That salvation comes from Jesus who is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16-17) and who is one with and in God (See John 14:10-20)

Jesus was the last member of the Trinity identified to us. We knew Jehovah, we knew of the Spirit, we expected the Messiah, but until Jesus identified himself as the Christ, we did not know all the persons of the Trinity. We embrace the Mystery of the Miracles on the Old and New Testaments, and we can just as easily embrace the Mystery of the Trinity. We teach and preach about the unfathomable Mercy of God, and we can reliably know that his Mercy is also a Mystery because it is the product of Grace and Love. We can see the unity of the Trinity in a shamrock or in a Tetrahedron. We know that God is Great, God is Good, God is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient, and Omnibenevolent. Omnipresence is the stem of the shamrock, the base of the tetrahedron, the Foundation of the Ages. Because he can be Everywhere All That Is Can Be, he is Omnipresent. Because he is Omnipresent, he can be Omnipotent for he is All Power That Is Everywhere for All Time. And again, because he is Omnipresent and Omnipotent, he can be Omniscient for he is All Wisdom, Knowledge, and Glory in All Places At All Times for All Causes. Finally, because he is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient, he can be and forever is Omnibenevolent because his Perfect Justice, Perfect Love, Perfect

Light Life Word

Righteousness, and Perfect Kindness are shown to us every moment of our lives every way we look, every time we hear, everywhere we live and move and have our being. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). Yes, he even lives in you and me! If you know that, then you know him.

That intimacy, that Communion of the Godhead, is the same communion of Faith that Paul called Koinonia. God has made himself known to us in many, many ways. Think of this: Romans 1:18-2118 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; 21 for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. In revealing to us the Truth about the Trinity, God has given us another glimpse into the majestic mystery of his power and grace; he is that eager to have us know him intimately, personally, and mysteriously.

It is that longing to have us with him that allows the Apostle Paul to say, allows you to say, allows me to say, allows every Christian past, present, and future to say, “ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you..”


Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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