Well, not really that funny…
But when I think of growing up in Northern Ireland amidst the trauma of a highly sectarianised and violent community conflict, it was curious how certain, I and a good few of my buddies were on matters of theology, doctrine, the Bible. I mean “themuns”, over there, with their crosses and statues, and belief in purgatory, Mary and dear knows what else were, well, wrong. I was 13 at the time and ran around with a bunch of wee fellas and wee girls also aged 13 who pretty much held a similar view.
(Reader please note, these no longer are my views, by a long long way).
When it came to matters of faith, theology, politics, in polite company (supposedly) you “Heard all, saw all and said ‘feck’ all”. If you wanted to avoid trouble…
Fast forward nearly 41 years, with this Sunday being for some Churches “Trinity Sunday” with a focus on God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, I have a similar nervousness in (in some way) exploring the “Trinity”.
As opposed to a Gospel reading here is one way of maybe, just maybe of “visualising” the Trinity…
There is (for me) a symmetry and sense of flow in the above representation of the Trinity.
The Christian understanding of God is three, yet one. Community despite difference. Belonging, togetherness, full authenticity, yet individual uniqueness and purpose.
I could ramble on and no doubt many good folks much, much, more theologically qualified than I, have rambled on and continue to ramble on as to the relevance of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. And such explorations and “ramblings” remain vital in the processes and experience of faith seeking understanding.
However, in my journey of faith and working through life with its seasons that can be sorrowful, joyful and often everyday, for me,
the unknowing element of the Trinity in Christian theology,
the wrestling with this doctrine of the Church,
the mystery that is God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
the experience of God who is always beyond our doctrines and dogmas and full awareness,
brings some re-assurance.
In so far, that maybe the most important response to all the seasons of life, sometimes needs to be a deeper appreciation of the mystery of God who calls us, not always to understand, but to get caught up in the…
the “perichoresis” (dance),
that is God. Father, Son, Spirit.
Growing up amidst a culture that was deeply sectarianised, with its certainties not necessarily of who I was but definitely who I was not; I do wonder what my 13 year old self would make of today’s 54 year old self.
And this Trinity Sunday, I am very grateful for the wonder, mystery and awe inspiring invitation that the Trinity calls me (and you) into…movement, flow, dance and to step into the mystic.
Picture courtesy of @savbrown