This past Sunday was Trinity Sunday, which is always perilous for preachers. It’s quite easy to accidentally preach heresy, especially if you try and explain the Trinity using an analogy or illustration. I quoted theologian Herbert McCabe, who said
Dealing with God is trying to talk of what we cannot talk of, trying to think of what we cannot think… To say that there is Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are God is no more mysterious than to say there is God at all. In neither case do we know what we are saying, but in neither case are we talking nonsense by contradicting ourselves.
There is a playful paradox in all this, isn’t there? The doctrine of the Trinity allows us to speak truthfully about an incomprehensible mystery, but part of speaking truthfully about a mystery is to also affirm that we don’t really know how it works or what it means.
What we DO know, however, is that our aim as God’s people is not only to be able to articulate the doctrine, but to encounter the Reality the doctrine speaks of: participating in the life of the Triune God that the Church had been experiencing long before the doctrine was fully formed.
And so salvation is not a product we get from God, salvation is participation in the very life of God. We are being drawn out of our separation and fragmentation into communion together with the God who has been revealed AS Communion: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
What defenses do you need to drop in order to allow yourself to be drawn into the life of the Trinity right now? Fear about the future? Thoughts of judgment toward others? Let go of these ways of separating yourself from God and others. Be reconciled to one another and to God! Let’s continue to consent to communion this week as we are launched into Ordinary Time.
Grace and peace,
P.S. If you, like me, enjoy nerding out theologically, check out these tweets from theologian Ben Myers that outline the doctrine of the Trinity.
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