This Sunday is “Trinity Sunday.” Search as you may, you will not find the word “Trinity” in the Bible. It is a mysterious and often very misunderstood term. It is sometimes mistakenly thought of being a way of expressing who God is. Other times it has been understood as meaning the worship of three Gods. Neither of those are true. “Trinity” is simply a way of explaining the three major ways that God has chosen to reveal God’s self to His creation, to humanity and also in scripture. Those three “manifestations” are as God the Father (Creator), as God the Son (Jesus), and as God the Holy Spirit.
There are times when all of the above paragraph seems quite silly to me because everything about the discussion of the Trinity seems to be attempts to put God in box; a box that makes God understandable to us and, more importantly, makes us feel comfortable with God. Yet, everything we know about life itself should point to the fact that the God who created life cannot be put into a box.
Life, as given by God, is unpredictable. It’s full of surprises; often enjoyable and usually endurable. Most all of the surprises are accidental. But, here and there, some are providential. That’s because God, too, is full of surprises. Ellsworth Kalas writes: “I have lived in the world of religion since before I was born, and in this long period of observation (seventy years and counting), I have learned two things for sure. First, you can’t box God in. And second, we are always trying to do so.”
I think Mr. Kalas nailed it! I have not doubt that discussions around the Trinity when the Christian Church was new and forming it’s theology in reference to the religions around it was both important and a necessity. However, nowadays, it seems like such discussions are nothing more than human attempts at trying to be comfortable with the way we put God into a box.
Central Alabama’s Pride observances begin this Saturday at Covenant with an Interfaith Service where the community will pray and sing together. The necessity for “Pride” is because too many “Christians” have put God into a comfortable box, making “their God” unable to be loving and affirming of LGBTQ people. Of course, scriptures tells us that’s untrue as the assigned lectionary Gospel reading for this Sunday is “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Hallelujah! “Ain’t Nothing Like True Love!” And, like God, it too cannot be put into a box!
Join us at Covenant this Saturday at 6 PM for the Interfaith Services and again on Sunday morning for worship. Baptism by immersion and reception of new members will be part of our worship experience this week. It might be Trinity Sunday, but I’m taking God out of the box in a sermon called “’Ain’t’ Nothing Like True Love” based on John 3:16-17.