Grace and peace to you from God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
The understanding of the Trinitarian nature of God has been a stumbling block since the Church, almost 2,000 years ago, perceived the relational nature of God. This weekend the Church Universal moves toward Ordinary time, the part of the Christian calendar that does not surround a major Christological event such as Christmas or Easter. The first weekend of that time frame is a recognition and celebration of the Holy Trinity. Not all churches within Christendom ascribe to this perception of “three in one and one in three,” but the majority of Christian communions do, including ours.
It is appropriate to note that the Holy Trinity is a great and glorious mystery. “Mystery” in this context does not mean a riddle or puzzle to be solved. It means, rather, this is a perception to be experienced, not unlike the early Church grappled. The primary problem for those who “dismiss” the Trinity is that God is understood as One, not two or three. This is the Jewish context as well as the Islamic understanding, both using as source Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” To the consternation and delight of the early Church they cherished this idea but experienced Jesus the Christ as well as the Holy Spirit, both, as the presence of the One God in their midst. How to understand this conflict so that all are satisfied? The only answer, unacceptable as it is to many, is the word mystery.
So, this weekend we recognize this mystery, celebrate its relational being within itself and within us, and trust the scriptural narrative that gives pictures throughout of our God who comes to us in unlimited forms, familiar to most as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Come, be a part of a 2,000-year mystery and worship the Godhead: three in one and one in three!
Pastor Jeff Blackman