It’s a beautiful morning in Toledo, and I am writing this reflection on the tail of an unusual summer, one in which I have not been in church due to work. For someone who has rarely missed church in the last 24 years, this is an odd place to be but at the same time, it’s a good frame of mind for writing about why Trinity is an essential part of my life.
Worship at Trinity is vitally important to me. I could write about my inordinate fondness for the liturgical year and my fascination with the diversity of music and language we use, but the core reason that I love worship at Trinity is that it is a weekly reminder that I am not God. I can stop pretending that I am in control. I often cry during worship. Sometimes they are happy tears or sad tears or contrite tears. Most often, though, they are tears of relief. I can set my burdens down at Trinity. I can let God be God, and I can unclench my fists and let myself be open and seen. There are precious few places in the world these days where we can do that.
I love much about Trinity as it is, and there is one area in which I would like to see us grow. Sunday services, with the readings, sermons, and prayers, are a place for us to wrestle with scripture and apply it to our lives, but they are only a start. How can we help each other understand scripture more deeply, so we aren’t solely relying on the literal interpretations that infuse American culture? How can we help each other sift through scripture to find and internalize the message of Good News that we need to give us courage and hope in a world that is harsh and hateful? Beyond scripture, there is more: How can we help each other learn and grow, letting the writings of others open us to God? How do we help each other see how God is working in our lives?
If I had to distill all of my experiences at Trinity to one sentiment, one pearl of great price, it is this: God is good, all the time. In our glorious moments, in our painful moments, and all the spaces in between, God is there, God is with us. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.
Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30, The Message