One in Christ: Meditation for first sunday after trinity
Trinity tide is made up of the Trinity Sunday and over twenty Sundays designated “Sundays after Trinity”, which begin today.
It is not a season for commemoration of any event, but a time for enactment and nourishment of faith.
The Church’s Year revolves around the orbits of the “Sun of Righteousness”, Jesus Christ, as seen in His life and activities here on earth, namely: His coming, birth, manifestation, passion, death, resurrection, ascension and sending of the Holy Spirit.
In commemorating these, the church draws lessons from them for the lives and activities of the Christian. This culminates in the Trinity Sunday.
The rest of the Sundays of the year tagged: “After Trinity,” which covers half of the year, constitutes the second part and are devoted to systematic and comprehensive teachings of the Faith for the balanced nourishment and growth of the Christian in the likeness of Christ.
The liturgical colour is green and signifies life and blossoming of vegetation.
The first lesson of Trinity is unity – the oneness of more than one. As God Himself, though three persons, is one; so His worshippers, though many people, are also one.
Christians are called to constitute the body of Christ with Christ himself as the head. We are, therefore, one not only with Christ but (in Christ), also with one another.
It is true that we pray to be one; the truth is that we are already one. It remains to make it evident. The challenge is living consistently with the oneness that already exists.
The Readings (Mattins): Ezek. 37:15-End; Eph. 2:11-End
THE OT: The 1st Lesson passage of the day is a prophecy of restoration of unity in Israel – becoming again one nation under one king.
The nation of Israel was, in 922 B.C., under Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, politically split into Northern and Southern kingdoms -Israel and Judah- (1Kgs 12:1-20).
The people of God would be united again. The one God would have one people, with one leader, in one place!
The unity and restoration were not just to be physical and geographical. The unity would be based on principle, character and spiritual renewal.
God promised to breathe new spiritual life into His people, so that their hearts and attitudes would be right with Him, as they are united with one another. “
The passage foreshadows the Christian oneness in Christ in the NT (Eph. 4:4-6).
THE NT: The 2nd Lesson passage of the day is captioned “One in Christ” in some Bible versions. It tells of the reconciliation both to God and one another, which Christ brought to the hitherto estranged gentiles and Jews.
Paul showed how believing Gentiles had entered into the family of believing Israel by faith, so that there was, as a result, one people of God united in the one body of Christ.
Christ, Who is our peace broke down the barrier of the dividing wall of hostility (vs 14).
This “dividing wall” alludes to the wall in the Jewish Temple that separated the court of the Gentiles from the Temple proper, which only Jews could enter.
The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that there was an inscription in Greek and Latin on this wall, which reads: “No foreigner may enter within the barricade that surrounds the sanctuary and enclosure.
Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.”
Christ breaks down the walls of prejudice, reconciles all believers to God, and unifies us in one body. As a result of the works of Christ, we can now have real unity with people who are not like us.
This is true reconciliation. Because of Christ’s death, we are all one (2:14); our hostility against each other has been put to death (2:16); we can all have access to the Father by the Holy Spirit (2:18); we are no longer strangers or foreigners to God (2:19); and we are all being built into a holy temple with Christ as our chief cornerstone (2:20, 21).
Ven. Dr. Princewill O. Ireoba is the Rector,
Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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