blessed trinity

Blessed Trinity, Romans 5:1-5
(video below)

I always enjoy a riddle.  A twist on words.  An invitation to see life through a different perspective.

For example, what do you have if you have two ducks and a cow?  Quackers and milk.  If athletes get athlete’s foot, what do astronauts get?  Missile toe.  How does a farmer count how many cows she has?  With a cow-culator.  What do you have if your canary flies into a fan?  Shredded tweet.

I always enjoy a riddle.  A twist on words.  An invitation to see life through a different perspective.  For example, if Christians believe in the one true God, why do we say we believe in God in three persons, blessed Trinity.  Before I give an answer to that riddle, let me do some explaining.

Today is Trinity Sunday.  This is the Sunday that follows Pentecost Sunday.  On Pentecost Sunday, we remember the beginning of the Church as the disciples were empowered to tell the story of Jesus to people gathered from around the world in Jerusalem.  On Trinity Sunday, we remember how the church continues to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to tell the story of Jesus as we are shaped by the ongoing story of God’s presence in the world as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Today is Trinity Sunday, a day of riddles.  You will find the biblical concept of the Trinity in scriptures such as the scripture read from Romans today, but you will not find the term, “Trinity”, mentioned anywhere in the Bible.  Trinity is a term that came into use in early church history as Christians tried to describe the immortal presence of God in a mortal world.

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity was processed through the Christian faith as it simmered for over 300 years and eventually shaped the declaration that God was three persons in One, blessed Trinity.  This declaration of the Christian faith was ratified at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. as God was declared as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Through the doctrine of the Trinity, Christians state our faith in the eternal presence of God as we live our faith in the present presence of God.

An article by the BBC makes this statement about the Trinity:

… the doctrine of the Trinity only attempts to provide a rudimentary sketch of the mystery of God’s nature, rather than a full description of what God is like. God is a mystery, before which humanity should stand in awe.

Before trying to understand the doctrine of the Trinity, it’s vital to realize why it’s important.  Its purpose is not to provide factual knowledge of God’s hidden nature of the sort that describes a dog as “having 4 legs, fur, barks, bites, domesticated by humankind, etc”.

The doctrine of the Trinity has other functions:

it brings humanity face to face with the mystery of God
it helps humanity recognize the God they meet in the Bible, in history, and in their own lives
it helps humanity understand God’s complexity, otherness, and mystery
it helps humanity worship God
it steers humanity away from wrong ideas of God, such as:
… a God who can be logically understood

June 7 2011 BC

Throughout the history of humanity, there have been numerous attempts to explain the logical presence of God.  The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is not an attempt to explain the presence of God through logic.  It is a statement of how Christians find acceptance in the presence of God.  Therein lies the riddle of the Trinity.

Through the doctrine of the Trinity, we state our belief in a God whom we cannot fully understand while at the same time stating our belief in God who fully understands us.  Stating our belief in God who creates us, redeems us, and sustains us, we answer the riddle of the Trinity by our admission that God is beyond our comprehension as we walk with faith in God.

Our scripture lesson from Romans 5:1-5 defines the mystery of God’s presence in our lives.  I invite us to join together in reading this scripture as we remember and give thanks for the presence of God in our lives:

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Frederick Buechner in his book Wishful Thinking writes the following about the Trinity:

“Father, Son, and Holy Spirit mean that the mystery beyond us, the mystery beyond us, the mystery among us, and the mystery within us are all the same mystery.  Thus the Trinity is a way of saying something about us and the way we experience God.”

  1. 93, Wishful Thinking

Isabella Yosuico, in the book, Mornings With Jesus, tells of when her family moved to Florida.  It was a stressful time filled with many questions and uncertainty.  She reports that by the time she had begun driving with her two sons to their new home, her hopeful anticipation had morphed into weary worry.  Her husband had stayed behind to work.

Adding exhaustion to anxiety when she and her sons arrived, she discovered the long-term hotel room she had reserved was gross, so she scrambled to find a rental.  Thankfully, she did, but she and her two sons had to wait to check-in.  She took her boys and Bichon rescue, Katie, to a dog beach, fighting the flood of tears and angst she feared would level her.  She walked along the beach while Katie and her sons played in the shallow water.  She started to question God.  Why did we face all these challenges?  Was it an omen?  Had we made a terrible mistake?  Please, comfort me, Lord.

Her painful pondering was interrupted by her son Pierce, “Mommy, Mommy, look what I found!”  In his hand was a very beautiful, perfectly formed, large whelk seashell, something you’d buy in a store. Isabella loves seashells and she felt a sudden sense of joyous relief and deep peace that God was answering her prayer with this beautiful shell.  Isabella reports that this shell sits on her dresser, a reminder that God is present even in the riddle of life.

I always enjoy a riddle.  A twist on words.  An invitation to see life through a different perspective.

For Christians, the doctrine of the Trinity is a twist on words and an invitation to see life through a different perspective.  It is the riddle of believing in God who is beyond the fulness of our understanding while at the same time believing in God who understands us fully as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, blessed Trinity.

May 30, 2021

Download the Order of Worship

Follow us: