I hope you all had a great Father’s Day on Sunday, and also a great Father, Son and Holy Spirit’s Day.
What am I talking about, you ask? Trinity Sunday, of course. I think it’s pretty nifty that this annual churchy occasion coincided with the somewhat related Father’s Day this year – that doesn’t happen often.
The day treated me extremely well – nice gifts and quality time with my kids and my father (as well as my Father) – but the days leading up to Trinity Sunday were a bit difficult for me.
You see, since I’m a worship leader at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, I felt compelled to choose worship songs whose lyrics really connect with the Trinity theme. And for a while there, nothing was leaping off the page.
Part of the problem is that I’ve largely avoided wrestling with the concept of the Trinity in the past. Oh, I’m familiar with a lot of the worldly analogies – the shamrock; water, ice and vapour; a river, a waterfall, a reservoir – and they’re useful, but only to a point. I can see how a thing can have three forms, but God is a being, not a thing. The whole concept of a Trinity is a big non-sequitur for me, and I came face to face with that reality last week as I sat down to choose worship songs.
What exactly does it mean that God is three beings in one? How does that work? What binds them together? Were they always together, or were they separate at some point? The Father, Son and Holy Spirit created us, but who or what created the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? How can they always be in perfect agreement on everything? How do you tell where one begins and the other ends – if it can be legitimately said that any of them ever begin or end? And if they don’t begin or end, how does that work? How does the fact that God is a Trinity (rather than a Unity) affect Humanity and our existence — what it is and what it could be? How important was the Trinitarian nature of God to the nature of the Universe as we know it?
After a while, my mind wandered to infinitely more trivial but equally unsolvable riddles, like, ‘If a tree falls in the forest and no one but the Trinity hears it, does it make a sound?’ Can God make a rock so heavy He can’t lift it? and ‘Which is more powerful – the irresistible force or the immovable object?’ At rock bottom, I ended up wondering about woodchucks…
As you can probably gather, my attempt to wrap my head around the Trinity got me nothing but a headache. I don’t think my feeble, earthly human brain is equipped to handle such a concept, so after a while, I gave up and took a step back.
Then, I felt a nudge in another direction.
Maybe the human head can’t connect with the concept, but God gave me more than a brain, I realized. I decided to try wrapping my heart around the Trinity instead.
And once I did that, the solution to all of my questions about the Trinity came very quickly. (I giggled at the irony of arriving at a no-brainer so soon after turning off my brain.)
Love is the glue that holds the Trinity together. Love is the irresistible force that prompted our creation. Love is the immovable object that demands our redemption.
Love is the only thing we really need to know about the Trinity, and we know it for sure.
Peace (and love) be with you.