The trinity has always been a subject that I have avoided trying to explain to other people.I find it complex myself.
So, I was interested to hear a sermon preached by Angela Tilby that really helped me to get my head around it.
The following are more her thoughts with a few comments of my own thrown in.
She says that on the whole,and I think this may be true of the evangelicals among us, that we are “serial unitarians ” rather than ” trinitarians “. By this, she meant that we use one part of the trinity at a time.
Me and Jesus,He saved me, Me and God,he is my Father, and we add a “whiff” of the Spirit at other times because He is harder to quantify.
Logically it’s a question of mathematics,3 in 1/1 in 3.
What would it be like if we worshiped all 3 at once?
Ms Tilby uses the 14th century painter Rublov,to illustrate her belief.He painted an icon of the three angels who visited Abraham ,to whom he offered hospitality.(Genesis…but I’ll have to look up the relevant verses)
It was viewed by those of his time as a dogmatic statement for those who thought 2 + 1=3
The icon depicts the banquet of God,and his lovemaking to us.We are welcome at the table and it is our choice as to whether we join in.He has no agenda,just the exquisite experience of being in His presence.
I must admit that when I actually saw the painting I was somewhat dissapointed, but I did understand how wonderful and awesome it would be to be(and we are in prayer) in the presence of the triune God.
I have spent alot of time thinking about this when the picture of a diamond came to mind. I make God small because I only view one facet of this precious gem.If I move my position spiritually I can view from a different angle. Are you still with me?
We think of the word “Father” and our understanding of it comes from our own knowledge and experience.
We think of Jesus in the singular,a loving saviour who calls us to follow him.
Our beliefs are coloured by what we have learned. Therefore we need to think,the unexpected.
This has two results:
1. We become anxious and worried that we can only see one dimension of God = dull worship.
2.If we see the trinity…what does this do?
Proverbs talks about wisdom…things we see now may not be clear but at a later date we shall understand. Wisdom..”.the ancient child forever new”
Julian of Norwich said ” I saw the trinity working,the Fatherhood,Motherhood and Lordship”
Now this statement hits me right between the eyes. I can grasp this Mother, Father ,making my God close to me but awesome Lord too.
There is NO order-each is in God,but who is who is not relevant.Here is a little of the mystery revealed .
A unitarian God makes a unitarian people.One dimensional,lonely,automatic.
The trinitarian God offers wholeness ,each life entwined with the other.
Therefore I will stop looking at just one facet and allow my God to be larger,more powerful.Just as he is. It is me that keeps him small.