Our new rector preached her first sermon to us today. I really liked it. It was of course about the Trinity.
Now some Christians don’t believe in it, and one would be hard pressed to prove it by the Bible. But plenty do believe in it, and if it’s not actually true, well, God missed a nice opportunity.
Lots of people try to explain trinity, but it’s not one of those things given to easy explanation. It’s sorta like a lot of things, but not really. We in the Episcopal Church have become rather content with seeing some things as “mystery.” We have the same response to the Eucharist. How the bread and wine become the body and blood is really mystery. Some make the attempt, but it is only words and not very satisfactory ones.
Yesterday I got a chance to run around a few blogs I enjoy reading and came upon this post by Fran. By the way, you should go read it in it’s entirety, but what I most loved was the poem she put at the top. I’m shamelessly stealing it, because I think it fits here with what I am saying:
Our priest made the point that all the words of explanation about trinity are inadequate. We don’t have the words plainly. We know that what binds this mystery together is love, and that we are called to this love in our own lives.
Some say it is a bad thing to question. Question what? Well question anything that any church teaches as “doctrine.” That recalls us to the God of the Old Testament, the vengeful and punishing God, the one constantly looking over our shoulder, listening in on our deepest thoughts. The God who does these things, not because he is that close to us, but because he is looking to catch us in sin.
Thus we get those folks who stop their ears and close their eyes, and tell us they don’t read anything not “approved” by their church. They are simply wrong. I know, it’s my opinion, and I freely recognize that, but just the same, I’m being stubborn here and announcing they are flat out wrong.
Questioning is a form of worship. Any time I am engaged in thinking about God and how he is and how he functions, I am engaged in prayerful worship. Even when I question his very existence, I am confirming that existence by the question. Now some may disagree, but as I said, I’m feeling rather strongly here that I’m right. I don’t say that often, so be it.
When we live the question, as Rilke suggests, we do the best we can, because we cannot bear to receive the truth. Our minds are yet too small and limited to fathom the depth and breath and height of God. We can talk of relationship, for that is what the Trinity is, but it is a relationship we can only barely, just barely see, and just barely live out. But we can try.
We can question and ponder, figure, and stretch our minds to encompass how it can be, and how it is, and in the very doing of that, we live the question. We can let our minds soar to it’s greatest expanse, and then say, that is but a teaspoon in the ocean of God, but I can live that today, and it is a drop more than I did yesterday.
That is the worship, that is saying “I love you” to God. And I, foolish believer that I am, trust that God is not angry with me for my questions, but receives my deepest yearnings to know with tender arms that wrap themselves around me, and softly whisper, “yes, and so much more even than that.”
So I conclude that mystery is good, mystery is desirable, and I can hope that I never come to know the answers to everything. I look upon a few people I know who wish to tell me “truth” and I smile. Yes, tell me, so that I can filter it through all these questions I carry, and add it to the pile of possibilities. For unlike you, I don’t have a lot of answers, I feel rather small compared to my God. But I do, like most 2 year old’s have a bundle of questions. And I’m okay with that. Blessed Trinity, blessed mystery. Blessed Eucharist, Blessed Christ.
It’s been a good day here in the meadow.