Trinity Sunday Today
I’m not into the church calendar much. Are you? From the dark places of my memory at Theological College I seem to remember it had a well-intentioned, but dubious origin. And then there’s the special “saints days”, harvest festivals and a whole lot of very “Ordinary” Sundays.
However, today I’m told is Trinity Sunday, which is the first Sunday after Pentecost. It is one of the few feasts that are celebrated as a doctrine, instead of an event. And that’s a good thing because in my experience many Christians today don’t celebrate Trinity. And I was one of them. We affirm it I trust, but then hope that friends or critics will never bring it up. If they do we might say something like – “yes that’s right. It is hard to understand” and then change the topic asap. This doesn’t seem appropriate though if we really believe what we sing “Glorious Trinity”
Jesus is the one who really teaches us about Trinity, most often recorded in John’s Gospel. Though he is equal with his father he repeatedly says he does the will of Father who sent him (John 5:23,36,6:44, 12:49) he even describes God’s role as “greater” than his (John 14:28). I take it he’s means though equal with Him, the Father takes leadership in the Trinity. He enables us to pray through him to the Father. Jesus affirms that the Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of the Father and His Spirit, (John 14:16-24) continuing his saving grace when he ascends to heaven.
A God who is and always has been Trinity is also a God who has always loved, put the other first, served, submitted & led. At the end of the age the Father will give all rule to the Son who in turn will give it back to the Father (1 Cor 15:24-28) His treatment of us only reflects his very character from eternity. God didn’t start loving and serving just because we arrived. There is a difference and equality in God, three persons in one being, that is to be reflected in husbands and wives (1 Cor 11:3). If we are to pray for each other that we know God better as Ephesians 1:17 urges us to do, then knowing, celebrating God as Trinity is essential, I believe.
On Trinity Sunday the Athanasian Creed was annually said (you can find it on page 625 of AAPB). It’s the longest of the main creeds and also the most detailed on Trinity. It’s well worth studying with you Bible open. What does it really mean that “Jesus is begotten not made” or that the Spirit “proceeds from the Father & the Son”, or that there is “one almighty, not three”. Should every Sunday be Trinity Sunday?
Your brother in Christ, Graham Crew