Mystery

Trinity Sunday: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15; Psalm 8

Trinity Sunday is the only Sunday in the church year focused on a doctrine, an idea. The readings point us to the doctrine, and to its mystery, but don’t give us much to work with.

The Trinity is a core doctrine of the church, one we affirm every Sunday when we recite the Creed. We believe in one God: the Father, Jesus Christ his Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three in one. When you sit down to think about it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sometimes I’ve used the the functional interpretation: creator, redeemer, sustainer. But generally, I live with it as a mystery. I’ve come to think of the Trinity as the different ways that God is present in my life.

Most Christians I know will admit that at any given time, one person of the Trinity is closer to them than others, or one is more difficult for them. I’m usually most comfortable with God and Jesus, and least so with the Holy Spirit, but I’ve had times when I’ve argued with each. But if there’s something I take from today’s readings, it is that this balancing goes all the way back to Jesus.

Paul tells us that we have peace with God “through our Lord Jesus Christ”. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

In the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that they can’t understand now what he has to say, because they can’t bear it. It’s too hard. But the “Spirit of truth” will reveal them later. Well, that’s comforting: even the disciples needed to hear messages from different voices. More to the point, Jesus knows what any teacher knows: we are ready to hear things at different times.

As I live with the mystery of the Trinity, it helps me to remember that God comes to us in the way we can receive God.

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