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Confusion, The Trinity and Politics

June 10, 2017

I have been thinking about the results of the election and all I find are confusion and speculation. I then started to focus on what I should have been doing – thinking of something to say about the Trinity. The Trinity should be firmer ground, so I started to relax. But have you ever tried to explain the Trinity? I remember studying the original definitions of the Trinity. There was so much debate and argument which explained so much to my head, but sadly said very little to my heart.

The Greek philosophy of ‘substance’ and ‘accidents’ originally used to explain the Trinity is elegant but I don’t think like the ancient Greeks so that isn’t much help either. It’s so easy to end up in the place I had ended up when thinking about the election, confusion and speculation. The whole way that we understand how the world is made has changed. That led to debates at when I was at the Vicar Factory about whether the creeds should be re-written and the Trinity re-defined. But given the difficulty we have about agreeing about simple things I can’t see that ever happening. Just imagine the endless debates in Synod! I do, every time I want to get off to sleep!

Thankfully, I have long since stopped worrying about such things. I stopped worrying about the definition of the Trinity and started to wonder about the reality. I now see all those definitions as guides to the experience of the Trinity, as doorways into how to live as part of the Trinity.

For example, I know that I am called to be more Christlike, i.e. more like God. This is practical and to learn to be more Godlike it helps to about who God is, and the Trinity tells me a lot about who God is:

When I think of God as Father, I remember that God is – Creator, sustainer, king of all things, judge, loving, redeemer, holy, eternal, knows all, is always present, wise, all of me (as my Creator), everything is made from God the creator.

When I think of God the Son, I remember that God is – Jesus, friend, Saviour, loving, challenging, family (with the Father).

When I think of God the Holy Spirit, I remember that God is – everywhere, in all his people, powerful, personal, ever present, showing me who he is, wanting me to be like Him and part of Him, part of every part of me (like my blood), my father, my brother, my friend, accepting, challenging and everything said about the Son and the Father.

When I think of God, all together as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I remember that God is – A community, loving, sharing, inviting of me and everyone and everything to be part of that community, everything said about one can be said about the others, complex, far more than I could ever put down in words.

After all of that I need to remember that I don’t have to know everything, that is God’s job. I only need to learn what I can, and most importantly of all, I need to let the Holy Spirit make me part of the Trinity. When the Spirit works in me he makes me part of that special and wonderful relationship. Then I don’t just have theories and definitions of the Trinity; then with the Spirit, I have first hand experience of who this God is.

It is important to learn about who God is, so that I can have some idea of the sort of person that he is going to make me. There are lots of definitions but this God who is a living, eternal relationship can only really be understood by experience. I can only really know about God by joining this relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That is why the Father sent Jesus. That is what Jesus invites me into. That is what the Spirit in me does. That’s what I want to be part of, now and for ever.

I now have less confusion in my heart about the Trinity. I pray for the same sense of unity, love and common purpose for my country.

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