Trinity Sunday 26th May

The nature of ‘God’ is, by definition and beyond definition, a mystery. The blessed Trinity is not a riddle or a puzzle and certainly not a matter of mathematics!

So this cannot be an ‘explanation’ – but may help.

I am sure that all human beings have some sense of the ‘other’ breaking in on occasions. We humans are equipped to feel, to sense, to be aware of something special, something extra which goes well beyond what our five senses are telling us, inspiration beyond the evidence. The Greeks knew this and had two words for life: bios for material physical existence and zoe for that something extra. It’s the difference between the sound and the music. Not just physical biological life from birth to death like any other animal, but an extra dimension, a God-given liveliness which makes us human.

Another feature of all religions is the belief in a creator. Of course, as with spirituality, this takes in a wild variety of stories and ideas. But the core conviction that there is meaning and purpose in the universe is very widely and deeply held. We live in a creation.

Christians share these two widely held core beliefs in God the Creator and God the Spirit. And yet we allow these mighty mind-blowing ideas to be constrained and even defined in terms of a Galilean carpenter who lived and died in obscurity and yet who has changed history more than any other human being.

Our beliefs in God as creator and God as spirit are reorientated by Jesus’ life and teaching. You can feel this going on in the minds of all the writers of what became our New Testament. God is not only creator and spirit (as the Jews believed) but also Christlike.

As Christians we are entitled – indeed we are required – to base our understanding of the nature of ‘God’ as creator or as spirit – and to review our own beliefs and our lives – on the evidence presented in Jesus and on the event we call Easter.

This is our three-fold focus of belief as it was for followers of Jesus from the day of Pentecost. Emmanuel as well as incarnation. ‘God in Christ has come to stay’ as Brian Wren brilliantly puts it.  Thanks be to God.

Revd Peter Brain