Love: The Singular vs. the Communal God
To non-Christians, the idea of a communal God can sound like nonsense. I can appreciate where they are coming from. After all, a God who is both one and three simultaneously is a logical problem. Yet we don’t believe that God is a community because we believe in many Gods, nor because we can’t decide who the one God is, but because we believe that God is love. (1 John 4:8).
Love requires a community of persons who give and receive it. Love requires personal action on behalf of other persons. A lone person God has no one to love but himself. This God must create people to even become loving in the first place. Yet even if this lone person God acted loving toward us, it would not be essential to who this God is, for he was not loving before creation. He can act loving, but he cannot be love.
With the Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit exist from all eternity as a community of love. Their love is so perfect that they are one in being, action, and will. They give all of themselves to each other, and in doing so indwell each other. This is why when we see one person of the Trinity, in and through him we always see the other two.
We worship a communal God who is love. And we are created in this God’s image, to be a community of love. Jesus’ command to us is to love one another just as he loved us. As we love how God loves, we live into the life of the Trinity.