Martin Luther, said, "To try to deny the Trinity endangers your salvation; to try to comprehend the Trinity endangers your sanity."
Last week, we marveled at our God that describes himself as three persons, yet one God. I know, every professional mathematician (and even some kindergartners out there) would tell me I'm crazy to tell you that one plus one plus one equals one, but hey, God's mind is bigger than mine, so I'm fine being crazy in your eyes as long as I'm sharing God's truth.
But what's even crazier than that math is what the apostle Paul writes about how that triune God acts. In 2 Corinthians 13:14, he says to those Corinthian readers that the "grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit are with you all."
God - 3 in 1 - by definition more than our brains can even fathom, God is with us.
A few weeks ago there were some huge storms that came through our area long after the kids were in bed. Our 4-year old son woke to one of the booms of thunder. We heard the bed creak as he jumped out, then the thump of those little feet on the hallway floor and within seconds he was with us in bed.
Why? Was he safer there with us? He thought so. Truthfully, we couldn't have done anything to protect him from the storm, but he was confident that things would be better because dad and mom were with him.
The storm that brings kids to tears when they're by themselves becomes a spectacular light show to ooh and aahh at when dad is holding you. And that's a dad who has no control over the storms.
This triune God is the One who commands the winds and the waves with his words. He is with us. That's what Paul leaves us with as he closes this letter.
God was with those Corinthian Christians, that somewhat dysfunctional group (I mean, earlier, Paul had to chastise them for getting drunk on communion wine... how bad can it get?). But God was with them, with his grace.
God would use them. In the midst of Corinth, that mecca of sin and loose living, in a forum for every false philosophy and worldview, they had work to do, but God was with them.
Now apply that to us here today. Sure there are storms in your life. Sure there are daunting challenges ahead of us: bills to pay, relationships to heal, work to get done, and through it all, such an important purpose to keep in focus. After all, God says we're here to share him with others. And Satan is constantly attacking so that doesn't happen. Talk about storms. But God - the Triune God, the God of grace and love and fellowship is with you.
Remembering your unity with the Trinity, you will do the things that bring the unity from the Trinity, showing the grace of Jesus as you forgive one another; showing the love of God as you put yourselves on the line for each other, willing even to be walked over if it means an opportunity to show love.
And what is the result of that? Fellowship that comes from the Holy Spirit, fellowship that comes when you realize that you all have the same goals, the same faith, the same forgiveness, the same singular triune God.
The grace, the love, the fellowship: That is the story of the Trinity in the lives of believers.
So may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
That's what it is all about.
Jonathan Scharf is pastor of Abiding Grace Lutheran Church in Covington. Full sermons and more information can be found at www.abidinggrace.com.