Long before the creation of anyone or anything, the Trinity existed in an enviable mutuality. They enjoyed each other, loved each other, respected each other.

That relationship has been described as perichoresis: the circle dance in which love and being are exchanged between the three persons of the Trinity. (Do your thoughts, like mine, instantly go to Zephaniah 3:17? He will exult over you with joy, he will be quiet in his love, he will joy over you with singing?)

The God who has provided us with the Great Shepherd is a joy-filled God. He sings! He dances! And he has chosen to include us in the dance!

He has placed us in Christ as the means of fulfilling his heart’s desire – that we might share in his being, in his love, in his joy. And he has provided us with Christ to shepherd us into our newly-acquired relationship with the Trinity.

The combination ensures that every aspiration he has for expressing his love toward us will be attained. Every goal he has for re-forming us into beings who are capable of sharing his joy and companionship is met.

Whatever we do as under-shepherds – as co-laborers with Christ – should contribute to those same goals.