What the Trinity Teaches Us
“I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
These are some of my favorite words to speak as a pastor. The Holy Triune name of God is at once foundational to the faith and one of its most beautiful mysteries. I think all too often we mere mortals assume that mysteries are problems or riddles to be solved. As Christians I think we would be better served to see God’s mysteries as beautiful reminders of God’s wonder and Holiness. This is very true in the case of the Holy Trinity. Many of the heresies that the early church actively resisted and taught against were the result of trying to explain and understand the Holy Trinity in human terms; they all fall short and create falsehoods.
However when we set aside our need to fully understand this glorious mystery, we can begin to see what it does reveal about who God is. And what a blessing we find!! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all terms that speak to a relationship. With the name of the Trinity we find a transcendent all-powerful God who desires to be in relationship with men and women, and I am not talking about any kind of relationship but that of a loving father—the kind of Father who you would share secrets with and go to for advice, the kind of Father whose lap would be welcoming after a spat with your best friend, the kind of Father that you could call Daddy your whole life long. The best part is that not only does the holy Triune name show us the kind of relationship God wants with us; it also reminds us how God makes those possible. We are claimed as sons and daughters through the incarnation of God’s Son, that is to say through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, God claims us as His own. We are empowered to trust this promise through the work of the Holy Spirit. The God, whose self-revealed name in the first covenant was perceived as too holy to say, gives us a new name in the new covenant that shows how much He desires us. How radical is that? So the Holy Trinity might make your head hurt as you do theological somersaults trying to understand it, but more so it should make your heart glad as you are reminded how much God desires YOU.