There’s an old song that says, “You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd.” That’s a fact proven by physics. There’s a formula and everything. The ability to achieve sufficient velocity via wheeled bipedal locomotion is inversely proportional to the number of cow patties within a limited amount of unobstructed surface area. Don’t even try it. It’s a mess.
I’d give the same advice to most people who want to illustrate the Trinity. There are too many land mines and you’re bound to get stuck in a thick pile of heresy. But I just happen to have 22 earned credit hours toward a Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree, so I figured I was up to the task. You can see how that turned out in my book, The Seed: A True Myth. I now realize just how insane I was to strap on my skates and take off into the herd.
What was I thinking? I probably wasn’t thinking enough, but the love of the Trinity compelled me. I’m not talking primarily about my love for the Trinity, rather the love within the Trinity. It’s a love that has always existed between God the Father and God the Son in the shared delight of God the Spirit. It’s a love that has graciously overflowed to me, filled me, and invited me into a divine life that has always existed and will never end.
You’re invited too! That’s really what my book is, more than an illustration, it’s an invitation into the life and love of the Godhead.
In John 17 we read Jesus’ high priestly prayer. He prays for those with whom he walked and then in verses 20-26 he prays for those who would believe in him through their word. That’s us.
Jesus prays that we would be one, just like he and the Father are one, the Father in Jesus and Jesus in the Father… and Jesus, by his Spirit, in us. (In the previous chapter, John 16, he talks about the work of the Spirit.) In John 17, Jesus asks that we would know and experience the glory and love that he shared with the Father before the foundation of the earth. That’s talking about eternity, and that’s a mighty long time… or it’s no time at all. That experience of glory—of the Father’s love that Jesus asks for on our behalf—comes by the Spirit, the Spirit in us that cries out Abba, Daddy!
So here in this intimate moment of prayer, we see God the eternal Son who, before the foundation of the earth, knew the love of the eternal Father in the communion of the eternal Spirit who is the very delight the Father and Son have in each other. And our high priest, God the Son, prays we would be one in the glory and love of this Trinity.
Do you think God the Father will say yes to that prayer from God the Son? Of course he will.
Now here’s the thing, I talk and write a lot about grace: the message that because of Jesus’ finished work, God’s not mad at his kids. Grace is mind blowing. We have to use words like “radical” and “amazing” to describe it. But grace is just a door. It’s access to share in the relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit, to become one with God. That’s what Jesus asked for in John 17.
Grace is the door to the Trinity, and it’s always open. Grace is just an open door.
One more thing, the path to that open door of grace is weakness and brokenness and failure and sin. When you walk that path to the door of grace, you don’t even have to knock. I mean, there’s nothing on the hinges… just an opening made out of the wood of Jesus’ cross.
So in my book, The Seed, and with this little scripture meditation, I invite you to step through the door to the eternal relationship between Father and Son in the shared delight of the Spirit. Come just as you are, burdened and broken, and you will hear, “Welcome. Welcome Home, child. Come in and rest in my love.”
Erik Guzman is Vice President of Communications and Executive Producer at Key Life Network. He’s the co-host of the nationally syndicated talk show Steve Brown, Etc. and announcer for Key Life. Guzman’s writing has been featured in the organization’s magazine and website as well Liberate.org, Burnside Writers Collective and Sojourners (sojo.net). He has a BA in mass communication and an MBA and is perpetually working toward a Master’s in theological studies. He is also the author of the soon-to-be-published book The Gift of Addiction: How God Redeems Our Pain.
Guzman is also a Lay Eucharistic Minister, a drummer and a fifth-degree black belt in Aikido. He lives near Orlando, Florida, with his wife and their three children.