I remember being surprised to learn that the word “Trinity” never appears in the Scriptures. How can that be? The doctrine of the Trinity is central to Christian faith and teaching, yet it never appears in the Bible?
Of course, the concept is there. The resurrected Jesus told the disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) Other passages, like Sunday’s Gospel lesson about Nicodemus’ conversation with Jesus (click here to read it) clearly demonstrate the notion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost, is also known as Trinity Sunday. Pentecost is often seen as the “birthday” of the church, the day when the first disciples gathered the first converts together as a community of Christ followers. Then we immediately celebrate the Trinity, the foundation of how we understand God’s work for us, in us, and through us.
Doctrines like the Trinity are not just esoteric concepts for theologians and preachers to prattle on about. Our idea of God guides the way we live our lives, the priorities and passions that shape us. Whether we think about it or not, we all have an idea (or ideas) of what God is, or is not, and it shapes us. It is worth paying attention to the ideas of God that float around in our minds so that we can be aware of what shapes us.
The doctrine of the Trinity, for example, reminds us that God is not, ultimately, solitary and alone. He is in community and He has created us for community! Let’s gather and celebrate!
This column appeared in the May 30, 2021 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
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