Trinity Sunday begins a new season in the church year – the season after Pentecost, most often called “Ordinary Time”. I love the Godly Play language that this is the “green and growing season”. It is a time where we aren’t focused so much on any one miracle or aspect of God, as we can get during the seasons of Lent, Advent, or Easter.
For me, a belief of God as trinity is the foundation of my faith. I love that in the verse from Isaiah for today, God is both revealed to Isaiah, but also concealed – Isaiah only experiences the hem of God’s clothes. God is mystery, so far away and so close, more than I could ever know yet all I want to seek.
Approaching God from a trinitarian perspective has been very formative for my own understanding of God. Some approach God from a Christological perspective – Christ is the most relatable of the Trinity, having been human and divine. Some approach God from a Spirit perspective, which also makes sense to me as the Spirit is the person of the Trinity I “feel” closest too – my comforter, my guide.
Yet I love the image of God as community. God as 3, God as 1. God as God’s own BFF. This concept helps me to understand how I do not feel whole alone. I used to think I was just an extreme extravert. My mother jokes how I would not sleep in a room alone, but pull that playpen into a room with people (even lively people hanging out) and I would happily take my nap. I believe that when humans were created in the image of God, we were created to exist in community. In community with others, with all of creation, and with God.
It is when we find our place within the larger community that we can function as God gifted and calls us. When our pride places us above others, that is sin. When our ego places us above creation, that is sin. I don’t pretend to think that my way of understanding God is right. I am also not a relativist in that I believe that any path can lead to God. However, I do believe that many paths do lead to God, and the existence – the very presence of religious diversity in our world is evidence that God created this diversity and therefore we should foster it.
God is stronger in relationship. We to are stronger in relationship. This is isn’t easy. It sounds easy, but it’s deceptively hard. I have been married for almost a year, and while I thought I was completely ready for it, there have been moments that have tried my patience in ways I did not foresee. And this is just 2 people trying to live life together. There are moments I am irrational and we simply can’t be in the same room. There are moments he is ridiculously unreasonable and I can’t see a way to reconcile the situation. But we calm down, we apologize, and we forgive. I don’t imagine that my marriage will always be easy, but I love my husband more than I ever imagined I could and will do anything in my power to maintain a healthy marriage with him.
We are stronger in community, especially with those who are different from us. Differences help us grow and expose us to new ideas, new ways of doing things. The three persons of the Trinity model this healthy difference – even in pictures like the one above or below there are depictions of each person. There is space for each to live out their calling, their role, and trust in that space. Yet there is a connection. An accountability. Support. Balance.
One of my favorite theologians is John Ziziolaus, an Eastern theologian – Greek Orthodox. He wrote the book – God as Communion, and explores this topic more deeply. As we enter into the green and growing season, I wonder…
I wonder what our mysterious God is calling you to grow in?
I wonder what relationships in your life help you to live more deeply?
I wonder how you approach God in your own theology? (for we are all theologians!)