Whatever complex theological contortions might arise in trying to explain or fully understand the complexity of the Holy Trinity (and we could join centuries of history in engaging in this), there is perhaps a better place to start.
Rather than seeking to fully explain the Trinity, perhaps we ought to move forward in faith and seek simply to reflect on the Trinity (the one is not dependent on the other).
We can use our own context, the ways that God reveals himself to us in scripture, and the experience of the Christian communities throughout history to give us a framework for reflection. Such reflection might help us understand the significance of the Holy Trinity for us today.
A Loving Community
In reflecting on the Holy Trinity it is difficult to get very far without seeing the Trinity as a powerful model of loving community. A community in which distinctiveness and diversity are both appropriately expressed and in which mutuality allows each member of the Trinity to be seen in a more effective way. Such an understanding of the Trinity has certainly found expression in iconography and in some radical theological writing.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are each placed in community and offer to us interesting ways of understanding our own community, especially that of the Church.
At a time when the Church can be seen to be in conflict and tension it is helpful to recall that different model of community and to recognise that our effectiveness in responding to God’s call and in becoming the people God has created us to be is dependent on that community flourishing.
That is the challenge for us and for all those who celebrate this great festival today.
Canon Christopher Burke
Vice Dean and Canon Precentor