Dear friends in Christ,
This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday, our annual opportunity to celebrate the revelation of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s tempting to try and use this day to explain the Trinity, but perhaps it’s better to use this day to sing rousing hymns in praise of the Trinity.
With all the violence, division, fear, and chaos of our time, it might be easy for us to conclude that delving into the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is irrelevant. Sometimes people say things such as, “people are more important than doctrine.” But this is an impoverished view of both the task of theology and the work of loving others.
Doctrine helps us know who God is and how God wants us to live. Doctrine helps me understand our fallen world and the need for a Redeemer. Doctrine challenges me to love those whom I might prefer to ignore.
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity shows us that God has loved us from the beginning of all things, having made this universe in which we live. Jesus Christ is the exact imprint of his Father’s very being, showing us everything we need to see about how God loves us and calls us to transformation. The Holy Spirit is the Father’s gift to us, as promised by Jesus Christ, and that same Spirit is our guide, our companion, and our teacher.
Though I love a good flowchart, the Holy Trinity is best perhaps understood has God’s eternal love for creation and for each one of us. Sure, there is a lifetime of wisdom and inspiration to be gained by studying the relationship among the persons of the Holy Trinity. But while we study and learn, we can also bask in the glory of God and delight in the astounding, unearned gift of God’s love for us.
You see, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not irrelevant to the challenges of our world and of our lives. When I begin to grasp the wondrous mystery of the Holy Trinity, I begin to grasp that God never abandons us, never leaves us alone. And we see that God’s desire is for a world that is filled with justice, mercy, hope, and grace. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to proclaim God’s grace and mercy in a world that yearns for a word of hope.