I love listening to elderly happily-married people talk about their spouses – with the evident love, the delight in the other and the wry humour at the characteristics of the other that after 50, 60 or even more years still annoy them, sometimes intensely. No matter how happy the couple, there are still differences – it seems to be part of the nature of loving another.
This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Trinity – that is we recognise and celebrate that our God is a community – Three Persons, Father, Son and Spirit, equal, holding all in common except in their differing relationships to each other. This is hard for us to get our minds around but our hearts know what it is about. We are made in the image of God and relationship is at the core of our being, relationship that involves both loving union and difference. Loving union we can cope with, dealing with difference is more of a challenge. To appreciate it we need to recognise what good ‘differences’ can bring to a relationship. The attraction of love can be so strong at times that one can run the risk of ‘falling into’ the other – becoming a clone or a slave. Our differences protect us from that. Differences also help us define our individuality. This is important because it is only as free individuals that we can truly love. So perhaps this Sunday you could name and celebrate the differences in your relationships – with your spouse or partner, your children, your parents – and realise that these, if used rightly, can enhance your loving.
Loving God, help us to love each other as you love each other within the Trinity, celebrating both what we have in common and the differences between us. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.