If there is one classic Christian meme, it might be “John 3:16.” Like any meme, it takes being “in the know” to get what the meme means (to use another meme, IYKYK—if you know, you know).
Needing to be on the inside to get the real meaning aptly describes John’s Gospel. For the Johannine community, if you wanted to know Jesus and who Jesus is, you needed to believe and follow him. In John’s Gospel, knowing is more than an intellectual exercise.For the Johannine community, if you wanted to know Jesus and who Jesus is, you needed to believe and follow him. In John’s Gospel, knowing is more than an intellectual exercise. Click To Tweet
Knowing is a movement of the heart publicly manifested through our actions of love. The first to know and move is always God “who so loved the world” that he sent his very self, moving from heaven to earth, to dwell among us. Through God’s Son, those who believe are drawn up in love to return once again to God.
Trinity Sunday has accrued its own set of memes. Three-leaf clovers or the three-fold states of water or other such devices treat the Trinity as an abstract theological idea trying to become concrete. But each of today’s readings shows us that the deepest meaning of the Trinity is already found in concrete human actions of love: in accompanying, mending, encouraging, and agreeing; by living in peace; and, most of all, in giving our lives for the sake of this world God so loved.