Like many people who are asked to give an address on Trinity Sunday my heart sank when I thought about what I might say about one of the most complicated aspects of our Christian faith. Complicated and yet absolutely essential. It’s odd really that something which I almost take for granted for 364 days of the year looms so heavily in front of me when I sit down and try to work out clearly, concisely, and effectively what I would like to say about the Trinity. I have plenty of options to choose from: I could turn to the classic Shamrock leaf, or to the dubious but quite memorable ice, water, steam comparison. Or I could reach for some classic theological textbooks, listen to podcasts from famous preachers, or struggle for hours to say in 5 minutes what centuries of Christians before us have written book after book to explain the inexplicable.
Of course I could simply take the line that the Trinity is inexplicable – a mystery – and leave it at that. But I don’t think I could get away with saying ‘it’s a mystery beyond our understanding’ and so just believe and get on with believing. Or can I? Because I think that ‘the mystery’ is why the Trinity makes sense. Most of us are naturally curious – we analyse, we pull apart, we google, we spend a lot of our time trying to make sense of the world around us: the news, our relationships, families, work, and how and why things are as they are. It can be exhausting. How many of us lie awake in the night running through, and re-running, clips of the past day in our head, anxiously pouring over details and doing what we can to make sense of stuff.
It’s actually a blessing that the Trinity is one thing we do not need to worry about. There is a lot to be gained from the discussions and questions it might raise for us, but ultimately, we will not get at complete answers and we simply have to let go of the desperation of knowing everything, and just relax, rest, and dwell in the mystery that God is three and God is one. That we can fall back into the everlasting arms and let God be. The Church gives us a gift on Trinity Sunday to stop worrying, stop trying to be God, and simply let God be God. Because God knows that once we think we have fully boxed God into a nice, neat, defined, and perfect package in our brains, then we have not arrived at the answer, but we have just created our own version of God. And the chances are that your God will be too small.
We only need to know a few things about the Trinity. Firstly that God is love: the inter-relationship between the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit, is one of endless, boundless and ever-giving love. The divine source of love which overflows in to our lives. God is love, and those who live in love, live in God.
Secondly the Trinity teaches us that God is more than we can ever imagine. This should not scare us or overawe us. It is actually an invitation to let go of our cares and worries, our anxieties and our puzzling, and put our trust in the God who creates us, redeems all, and sanctifies all. There is nothing beyond God’s knowing or power, no place out of God’s presence, no life unloved by God, no time beyond God’s presence. God is in all and through all.
Give yourself a break. Trinity Sunday is a gift to let go, fall back in love into the divine presence, and bathe in his glory and majesty, might and love.
- What do you need to let go of and entrust into God’s love? What can you release in order to rest in the awesome presence of God?
- Where do you see God’s majesty and awe? How and where do you see God’s creative love, redeeming love, sustaining love?