The Second Trinity (13.06.20)
A Bible Reading: Colossians 1:3-6
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God's people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God's grace.
Faith, hope and love; sometimes referred to as the ‘Second Trinity’. Paul links them together four times in his letters: here in Colossians, twice in 1 Thessalonians and, most famously, in 1 Corinthians 13. In that great passage about love, he says ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’
Like the Holy Trinity, this ‘Second Trinity’ is interdependent. In today’s verses, Paul commends the Colossians’ faith in Christ Jesus and their love for God’s people which, he says, spring from the hope stored up for them in heaven and which together form the essence of the Christian gospel.
For us too, our faith in Jesus, our hope for heaven and our love for all God's people are interdependent on each other. Faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus puts us right with God, this gives us the hope and assurance of heaven, and our hope of heaven gives us reason to love others and to live our lives as people of faith.
But whilst our faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, our hope of heaven and our love for God’s people are interdependent on each other, I think they are all dependent on the love of God. It was the love of God that caused him to send his son to rescue us, it was the love of God that caused Jesus to die for us and it is the love of God that we share with our Christian brothers and sisters. It is also the love of God that is at the very heart of the gospel that we share and which our reading says, is bearing fruit in us and throughout the whole world.
May our awareness of the love of God grow each day, to encourage us in our faith, to assure us of our hope of heaven and to enable us to share his love with those around us.
Thank you, Father God, that you created me in love. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you died for me in love. Thank you, Holy Spirit, that you fill me with love. May your love for me be the focus of all I do, all I think and all I say.