Wednesday, April 22, 2015
As an introvert, I sometimes find this stress on the relational Trinity to be challenging, as if theologians are pushing me toward constant engagement in difficult relationships. As an antidote to that view, I have loved reading about the idea that the persons of the Trinity are engaged in a dance. We are invited into that dance. Pastor and church consultant George Cladis describes this image of the Trinity as the three persons of God in constant movement in a circle that implies intimacy, equality, unity yet distinction, and love. . . . In this circle dance of God is a sense of joy, freedom, song, intimacy, and harmony. . . . In a circle we can see each other. No one is left out. We are all interconnected. We hold each other up.All of that is good stuff, but I am fascinated by all the literature designed to make the idea of Trinity make sense. I don't think it is supposed to make sense. I think it is supposed to be one of those things that reminds us of God's utter inscrutability. God is unknowable to us really and this whole idea of three-in-one, which makes no sense at all, is there to remind us that we just are not that smart. No matter how hard we try, we will never really understand God.
Another significant aspect of the new writing on the Trinity relates to mission. Our word “mission” comes from the Latin missio, which means sent. The Father sent the Son into the world, and we are sent into the world as Jesus was sent (John 17:18). The Holy Spirit empowers this sending and enables us to engage in mission.
Sometimes I think we do ourselves no great service when we struggle to understand that which cannot be understood. There is a lesson for us in not knowing and simply trusting. God is all we need.
Trinity humility mystery