Sunday, 30 May 2010

Heresy Sunday

I mean, er, Trinity Sunday, of course. Although I think perhaps a better name would be Mystery Sunday, because how three can be one and one can be three is a mystery to me, and why three instead of three thousand is an even bigger one.

Something in Kathryn's sermon really struck a chord with me. She writes:
"...the love that defines and informs the one reaches out and spills over into the other
Look, says the Father.......look at the Son........
Look, says the Son...........look at the Spirit
And so the Three gaze at one another in mutual love and delight"

My best performances have been like this, in a way. They are the ones where I love the music, and am full of love or at least general goodwill for the listeners, and my desire to introduce one to the other is far more important than my nerves or worries about my own ability. "Listen to this," I want to cry, "isn't it amazing? Hear what these sounds, combined this way, do! Sing along if you like, get up and dance!" And that time, in that place, I am the performer, the audience are listeners, the specific pattern of notes that makes up the music is being performed... but those roles are provisional, fluid, and utterly interdependent. None exist without the others. All can control the outcome, too: if the audience gets up and starts dancing, you can bet it's a very different experience for the performer, and that the music is very different as a result.

I hadn't really thought about three persons of the Trinity that way before.

I've struggled with the Trinity; my experience of God includes a sense of overwhelming unity. I can just about cope with the Holy Spirit (though equating the Holy Spirit with the shekinah of Torah, which is feminine, and then speaking of it in masculine terms really bothers me), but "Father" and "Son" are loaded words, words we ascribe roles to, specific jobs for each of them to do, and then oops modalism!

It seems to me that an awful lot of our attempts to describe the Trinity end up with that sort of putting-God-in-a-box.

And that's okay, I think, as long as we don't take ourselves too seriously. We musn't kid ourselves that what we describe actually matches reality with 100% accuracy. Language doesn't work that way: saying a thing does not make it true. We just compare notes on our own experiences, trying to arrive at some sort of common meaning, common agreement.

This idea of each person of the Trinity pointing out another, though, and the bit after it -- the bit where we are invited to join in -- appeals to me. If the Church is the Body of Christ then the Trinity is not limited to three, but is infinite, as we each point out what is holy, with love and wonder and delight.

Back later. Gone dancing.


UKViewer said...


You are not the only one who struggles with the Trinity. Most Vicars struggle as well.

It takes a leap of faith to put three, equally divine individuals into perspective. I have to make that leap of faith each time I say the Creed or even make the sign of the Cross.

But I would say that the Trinity has been something as part of my life from childhood and even when not a practicing Christian, deep inside I knew about God - so no matter how hard I denied him, he was there waiting for his chance.

God's will for me was clear and he sent the Spirit to me to nudge me and to bring me back to Accept Jesus as my Saviour.

I have not looked back since.

it's margaret said...

Three IS infinite. Indeed.

I LOVE your music analogy. Perfect actually.

Many blessings, Song, on this mysterious day of unity.