To the extent that we are influenced by other people, something of their spirit, viewpoint or attitude finds a place in us. On a physical level we remain separate and distinct individuals, but on the spiritual level we can experience an in-dwelling by others. Think of the influence that parents continue to have on us long after we have left home or after they have died. This can be on a rather superficial level, but it can also touch the deepest core of our being. That’s what I mean when I say that, on a spiritual level, we impact one another all of the time, and that is what Jesus was talking about when he said, “Abide in me as I abide in you.” Likewise, when Jesus said, “All that the Father has is mine” and, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own” he was referring to the interpenetration of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We experience God in these three ways, but all are included in our experience of any one of them. It might be said then that relationship is at the heart of God. Father, Son and Spirit relate to each other in the perfect relationship of love. However, the truly amazing thing is that we are drawn into this spiritual relationship. The Holy Spirit that empowers the Church is the Spirit involved in creation and also the Spirit that was in Christ Jesus. The Spirit that leads us into faith, that prompts us to worship and to pray, implants the capacity to love and to serve, makes us rise up when we have fallen, recalls us when we have strayed, stirs us to do something about injustice, cruelty and oppression – this Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and also of the Creator. When we talk about the Holy Trinity, we are talking about three personae that co-inhere in the one divine reality.
- Apart from genetics, how do your parents continue to influence your behaviour and attitudes today?
- What in John 16:12-15 indicates the mutual indwelling of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
- Does this idea about the mutual indwelling of spirit help you in your understanding of the Trinity?
- How relevant and important is the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to you?