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Proverbs 8:1–4, John 16:12–15
The God Triangle

It is season of Pentecost... when

‘Sparks fly, winds blow, and sounds weave in and out and all about...
and amazing things happen because God’s Spirit is set loose!’

So let’s let the Holy Spirit move and rest... stir and bless,
and let our dreams be filled with visions of the Spirit of love
who continues to inspire us!

The Spirit will hold us to account,
but Spirit is only a part of God...

on this Trinity Sunday, we hear of the whole of God,
more of God, the mystery of God as three.

In the past, I have used an apple
to try to ‘explain’ the Trinity...

We have the skin of the apple,
the inside, flesh of the apple,
the core of the apple...
but it is all apple.

I have also talked about a triangle...
the scalene triangle... where all the sides are different lengths.

Then there is the onion...
skin... layers of onion,
and then the strong smell that causes our eyes to tear up.

The apple is my favorite one,
but each fall short of ‘explaining’ the Three-ness of God.

Martin Luther, the mastermind of the Reformation
had this to say on the subject of the Trinity.

Martin Luther warned that: 

“To deny the Trinity is to risk our salvation;
to try and explain the Trinity is to risk our sanity.”

Quoting Martin Luther is not a bad idea in a sermon,
quoting Jesus is better... but Jesus said nothing that we know of,
about doctrine... or the ins and outs... of the Trinity.

There is a statement attributed to Jesus,
that speaks to the three persons of God,
but it is not explained.

Matthew 28, verse 19...
is called the Great Commission,
when Jesus commands the disciples to:

“go forth, baptizing in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

There is no ‘doctrine’ or teaching about the Trinity,
in our scriptures

The doctrine of the Trinity, as we know it,
was first formulated in the fourth century
and then developed over hundreds of years.

This doctrine of the Trinity was at the heart of several wars...
thousands of Christians were killed
because they were in favour of the losing side
of arguments over the doctrine of the Trinity.

Over the centuries, Creeds were created,
to set down beliefs that the church insisted people believe.

At its best... every Creed tries to find language to explain
what Trinity is... what Trinity means... what God is.

At its worse, every Creed insists that we believe
a certain way, in certain things... and I would say:
puts God in a box.

One might think that after 2000 years or so...
the Christian Church might have learned to be more humble...
less arrogant... in its declarations about God.

One might imagine that life in the Spirit
would free us from doctrines that confine us,
or encourage judgement and constraints to a relationship with God.

It is far more important to have a relationship with God,
than it is to understand doctrines about God.

If the Trinity is a formula... a story... a puzzle to solve...
then it limits our experience of God,
stealing from us a life-giving relationship with the Creator,
and the world that God loves.

Better that God be Mystery, than a logical statement of belief.
In fact, I don’t want religion to be about believing...
it is so much bigger than that.

Religion must help us to deepen our relationship with God
and with all God’s creatures...
giving meaning to life and justice for all creation.

The image of the Trinity must let loose the Love of God,
and set us free, not tie us down.

Desmond Tutu says that the Trinity
speaks of God as a fellowship, a community.

And so, you have this wonderful image of the community that is God, the Trinity.
So that, for all eternity the One who is called Father
pours out all of God’s being into the Son…
and the Son returning from all eternity, is this love ...
...and you have this movement between the two
that is so tremendous that it is God the Holy Spirit.”

God as a fellowship... a community.
God... relating within the wholeness... of God.
At God’s very core we find relationship.

Surely it is more important to experience God,
than to explain God.

Certainly it is more important to relate to God,
than it is to preserve a doctrine that dismissed mystery,
and shuts God in a box.

I am not suggesting that we throw anything away...
our traditions and doctrines and rituals
have formed us as God’s unique people.

In fact, St. Augustine, a 4th-century bishop who helped to craft
the doctrine of the Trinity had his own metaphor for the Trinity...

God is Lover, Beloved and Love itself.

So let us be open to the more of God,
open to the encounters with the Holy that come to us in the ordinary,
that come in the mystery of living and relating and being alive!

Let us be open to the power of the Trinity released and set loose,
that we ourselves may be made holy and whole,
as we celebrate Mystery.


‘Sparks fly, winds blow, and sounds weave in and out and all about...
so that amazing things can happen.

And if we get caught up in doctrines and straight lines,
and words and thoughts that try to confine God in any particular fashion...

May we open the box and let Love out...
let God be God... in deep personal relationship with all of creation.

As American Episcopal priest, professor, author and theologian
Barbara Brown Taylor says….

‘When we dare to think that we have you cornered O God,
we trust you to escape!’ x2