Deuteronomy 4:32-43,39-40; Ps 33 Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20
Today is Trinity Sunday.
The Trinity explains who God is, not just what God does. All the mysteries of faith are to understood in the light of the Trinity.
Now many might suggest that it doesn't matter whether we understand God to be a Trinity. Big deal.
But an error about God and his will has deep and lasting impact on the world around us. An error about God an his will is not a private affair. Think about ISIS. Think about all those men and women and children who have been driven from their homes. Think about those men an women who have lost their heads. What we believe about God intimately effects everyone around us; it is diabolical to think that it can ever be reduced to a private, personal matter.
It is often said that accuracy is the key to beauty. Where accuracy does not run, beauty limps. The greatest enemy to beauty is a rough approximation.
Too often we settle for a rough approximation when it comes to God.
Here is an example. This past summer I spent a few days in the Holy Land. I travel as you know to the sites where Jesus was and did his ministry. Where the temple mount is today there is now a Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, as it is called. It is a homing beacon for all those who abide by the Islamic tenets passed down from Mohammed and those who came after him and the Koran.
There are inscriptions written on the Dome of the Rock for all to see.
One such inscription reads, "believe only in Allah and his messenger, but do not say (three) Trinity an and it will be better for you. Allah is one God, Far be it from his glory that he should have a son."
Another inscription reads, "Praise be to God who has not taken unto himself a son and who has no partner in sovereignty nor has he any protector on account of weakness."
These words have certainly impacted the lives of many publicly.
They are certainly a direct attempt at refutation of the God of Jesus Christ an his followers.
Can they both be true? Can the Muslim profession and the Christian profession both arrive at truth? Truth does not consist of multiplicity but of unity.
The revelation of the Trinity should have a deep impact on our daily lives and should filter into our public lives daily as well. What of the Trinity?
First it reminds us that God has spoken. God keeps silence no longer. God has revealed himself as a Communion of love: 3 distinct persons and one nature. God is distinctly three persons but is of one single nature: know with the same intellect and love with the same will. The 3 persons do not share divine nature but each possess it in totality.
Trinity revelation invites us into Mystery. There is something marvelously inviting to the mind in an infinite being of whom we can know something, but whom we cannot wholly know; in the knowledge of whom can grow, yet the truth of whose being we can never exhaust. We can never discard God as a solved crossword puzzle.
Think about how often we make a sign of the cross and invoke the triune God. It connects us to our baptism in which is established the advanced gift of being loved by eternal love. This is the gift of baptism: advanced gift. God loves us in advance. Pretty thought provoking.
We take upon our lips the words through which we were made Christians: accepting faith in the triune God. This of course means that the primary concern in Christianity is God, it is not oriented toward our own hopes, fears, needs but to God, to his sovereignty and power: God is!
Practically what does it mean to profess that God is
-God is-God is superior to all our goals and interest; adoration of the Triune God protects us from being slaves of our goals in life and from our own devices.
God is-we are all creatures; we are willed and wanted by another not our of necessity but out of love. This other has destined us to eternal life. We are not a product of Chance but existence is the fruit of creative love.
God is-he is at work, he acts, he can act. When we make our plans from day to day existence, do we see him, do we make room for him to work, to act. Do we orient our life and spirit to his plan. Too often we treat God as an equal and think we can give him fairly useful suggestions on how to run the universe, our lives, and the lives of others. It also diminishes our sense of sin. We no longer are bothered by offending one who is just like us. Or we treat God as an extra in which case he has no place in the practical unfolding of life. God is challenges the notion of God as equal and God as an extra. We must allow God to interfere in our life.
God is-communion of love that is the ground of all reality. Trinity is the inner most reality that holds all the universe together. He loves. He wants to be known by us so he has revealed himself to us. We can only love what we know. The highest love is the total gift of self to another and this is the Trinity.
The God of Jesus Christ wants us to participate in his life and wants to be part of our life not as a dictator as we see in the Islamic faith but as a Father of a family. This makes a huge difference.