From all eternity, God lives as Father, Son and Spirit in a rich and glorious and abounding fellowship. There is no emptiness in this circle, no depression or fear or angst. The Trinitarian life is a life of unchained communion and intimacy, fired by passionate, other-centered, self-giving love and mutual delight. Such love, giving rise to such togetherness and fellowship, is the womb of the universe and of human existence within it.
The gospel begins here with this God and with this divine life, and its unbounded fellowship and joy. Before time dawned and space was called to be, before the heavens were stretched out and filled with a sea of stars, before the earth was summoned and filled with people and life and endless beauty, before there was anything, there was the Father, Son and Spirit and the great dance of Trinitarian life. The stunning truth is that this Triune God, in amazing and lavish love, determined to open the circle and share the Trinitarian life with others. This is the one, eternal and abiding reason for the creation of the world and of human life. There is no other God, no other will of God, no second plan, no hidden agenda for human beings. From the beginning, God is Father, Son and Spirit, and from the beginning, this God has determined not to live without us (as Karl Barth said).
Before the blueprints for creation were drawn up, the Father, Son and Spirit set their abounding love upon us and determined that we would be adopted, that we would be given a place inside their circle of life, and made participants in the very fellowship and joy and glory of the Triune God. There and then, before creation, it was decided that the Son would cross every chasm between God and humanity and establish a real and abiding relationship—union. He was predestined to be the mediator, the one in and through whom the very life of the Triune God would enter human existence and human existence would be lifted up to share in the Trinitarian life.
The gospel is the good news that this stunning plan of the Triune God has now become eternal fact in Jesus Christ. In his incarnate life, death, resurrection and ascension, he laid hold of the human race, took us down in his death, recreated us in his resurrection, and lifted us up into the embrace of the Father in his ascension. The Holy Spirit was then poured out upon the world, with the singular mission of revealing Jesus Christ (and who we are in him) to humanity in its darkness. The Holy Spirit comes to lead us to know the truth, so that the reality of our adoption in Christ can come to full and abiding and personal expression in us, and in our relationships with one another, and in our relationship with all creation.
Come, Holy Spirit