“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ’Here am I; send me!’.”
The Franciscan Saint Bonaventure, who wrote a lot about the Trinity said, “For God to be good, God can be one. For God to be loving, God has to be two because love is always a relationship.” But his real breakthrough was saying that “For God to be supreme joy and happiness, God has to be three.” Lovers do not know full happiness until they both delight in the same thing. Today, we celebrate with the whole church the Feast of the holy, undivided and glorious Trinity. One God, three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Often, in our attempts to explain the Trinitarian Mystery we overemphasize the individual qualities (as we perceive them) of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but not so much the relationships between them.
Relationships! That is where all the power is! That is where all the meaning is!” The relationship is like that of a dance – more of a folk dance or a celidh, where the participants hold hands and moving in a circle.
God is pure unconditional love. The love that understands; the love that forgives; the love that absorbs its own needs and gives and keeps on giving. Like the kind of love a child experiences from a parent.
Jesus, is God in perfect human shape. The Eternal Word, become Flesh – to show us how God’s way works. Remember, we must take the bowl and the towel – get on our knees and wash feet; stop worrying and obsessing with what we want and need – just be silent; get on our knees and wash feet. Be compassionate, be kind, be forgiving.
And let’s open our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit – that energy which motivates us to do the forgiving; the healing; the loving. The way to be transformed is through forgiveness and love. The Trinity, in all its mystery, points to the fact that we can only experience God. The way to experience God is through relationships.
If we wish to know God, to experience God – then, it is all about relationships. It is best summed up by three letter Cs.
Charism: what is your God-given gift? What makes you, you? What are you good at? Both as an individual and as a gathered church community?
Communication: Not emails; pew sheets; church magazines – but genuine listening and speaking. Do you sit and listen to God? To yourself? What are you needs, fears and hopes? Prayer is the most important communication. How do you relate to one another? How do we communicate with one another when we disagree?
Community: How do we live with each other? How do we find out what the community in which we live needs. How can we give and help. Not go give them “God”! But give the people who live alongside us, support, love, companionship. Then they will experience God in us, as we will in them.
Now that’s what Ty Price is for. Have you noticed that the way we are doing church has changed? Have you noticed that we are enjoying new relationships with our neighbours?
None of the three Cs can be done alone. No point having God given gifts, if we don’t use them to support one another. Communication and community only exists when we enter into relationships with one another and with those around us.
Instead of worrying so much about what we don’t know about God – the three in one – what we can’t categorize and label and explain… let us worry about following the Great Commission of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel:
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
Disciple means student – we are to be and to make students in the school of God’s love. Students do not know all the answers, but seek to learn, to ask questions, make mistakes: an education that will last a lifetime. Our task, as disciples, is to enter into the life of God, we call Trinity, and to discern and release God’s holy gifts in one another so that God’s kingdom can come amongst us. And remember that God’s kingdom, is God’s creation, healed.
Paul says, “God’s weakness is stronger than human strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25). That awesome line gives us a key into the Mystery of Trinity. I would describe human strength as self-sufficiency or autonomy. God’s weakness I would describe as relationship with each other.
Human strength admires holding on. The Mystery of the Trinity is about letting go. Human strength admires personal independence. God’s Mystery is total mutual dependence. We like to be in control. God loves vulnerability. We admire needing no one; choosing self-sufficiency; going it alone. The Trinity of the love we name God, is total intercommunion with all things and all beings. We are practiced at hiding and protecting ourselves. The unconditional love of God seems to be found in revealing our vulnerability to each other for the sake of the other. Our strength, we think, is in asserting and protecting our boundaries. God is into dissolving boundaries between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We go about this task of being, and making, disciples through relationships with each other. As St. Paul’s teaches us: “…put things in order…agree with one another, live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you…”. In building relationships with others, we dance in harmony with each other; we experience God in our relationships with one another.
The Trinity – as we see in others, as the God who created each one of us so uniquely, and the Christ who calls us to follow him and the Holy Spirit of God burning with love in our hearts. Amen.