Trinity Sunday June 16, 2019 St Austin’s Austin, TX
God walks into a bar and orders a beer, a red wine and a spritzer. [pause. Well, it is Trinity Sunday!]
Now that is – of course – not only ridiculous, it is theologically all wrong. God is one. There are not three separate wills and intellects in God. We say there are three persons in God, but we don’t mean ‘person’ in the modern psychological sense of three separate individuals.
We Christians are monotheists. We believe there is only ONE God. Like the Jews and like the Moslems, we believe there is one and only one God.
But then of course we are not content to leave it there. We make it more complicated. We go on to say that while God is ONE, God is a Trinity of three “persons” defined by their relationships. The Trinity is all about relationship.
In this we are quite different from Moslems. For them God is ONE and God is totally other. God is completely and entirely different from us, or to phrase it differently, God is all Holy. God is God, and we can never comprehend nor touch God. God is always distant and different.
We Christians take a different approach. Yes we believe God is all Holy, and entirely different from us, but then we also believe that God is total and complete in God’s own self as a community of relationships: God the Creator or Father, God the Beloved Son, and God the Holy Spirit who is the Love breathed or “aspirated” between the Father and the Son.
That is not only nice for God, so that God is not lonely in God’s self, but from all eternity God is a community, AND it also is very important for us. Because of the Most Holy Trinity, God, without ceasing to be all Holy and Wholly Other, also became one of us in the second person of the Trinity. God got deeply, intimately, no-holds-barred, involved with us, with our hopes and dreams, our disappointments and failures, our grime and our beauty and our love. God not only came for a visit, not only dressed up in a human person like in a costume. Rather, God truly and irrevocably became a human person, Jesus Christ.
It is pretty mind-boggling if you think about that. The creator of all the billions of galaxies each with billions of stars and God knows how many planets, and then all the dark matter and dark energy which is even more, and who knows what else we haven’t yet discovered; that very same God truly became a human, born of Mary, exactly like us in all things except sin. He lived and preached, healed the sick, died on the cross, and now lives in glory. His name is Jesus.
And Jesus did this so that we could be joined to Him as members of His body, and so we can share in God’s own life. WOW!
We experience that life already in the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier. God lives in our hearts through grace. God is not only totally Other, God is ALSO closer to us than our own breath. That is a great mystery, a mystery of the infinite God in relationship with you, with us.
The feast we celebrate today, of the Most Holy Trinity, is all about relationship: relationship within God, and our relationship to God, invited in Jesus to enter into the very life of God. But it doesn’t stop there. Because that amazing reality, in turn, has very definite implications for our relationship to each other. So, that crazy driver who cut you off on the way to church this morning is not just some idiot. That driver may very well be part of the Body of Christ.
We are called to relationship with each other as part of our relationship to God.
Because, as the second reading from St Paul today affirms: “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
Happy Trinity Sunday.