Once upon a time when the 50 days of unremitting joy had ended and Whitsun had blown passed the church would pick up its collective prayer books and recite the Creed of Saint Athanasius on Trinity Sunday. St Athanasius like many before and since used words to try and describe the glory and the majesty of the Trinity and like most before and since failed in essence. Never the less every year I head to page 41 of the SPB when preparing my sermon for Trinity Sunday to see if it might guide me into some new wonder, this year I didn’t get very far before being biffed between the eyes, verse 4 says:
Neither confusing the Persons: nor dividing the Substance.
Why did these words biff me so this year you might be asking, well I think there has been some Confusing of the Persons and dividing of the substance going on this year. It goes something like this:
God made everyone equal, but because some can’t quite handle that …
God is love, but because some can’t quite handle that either …
God is Spirit, but because God’s Spirit is not in tune with the spirit of others, then God’s spirit will have to defer.
I love Trinity Sunday, I even like preaching on it, why when every other preacher heads for the hills? Well because I like the fact that for one day at least the Church admits it doesn’t really know all the answers, it can’t really explain it, but nevertheless because it is of God then it is okay and we can trust it. Trinity Sunday is a leap of faith into the unknown after Easter and Pentecost have played their part and yet we seem to be so scared to leap, so scared to trust, so scared that we are in danger of transposing God into smaller more manageable pieces and in doing so we confuse and divide the Person and Substance of God. A God who is bigger than anything we can imagine and in divided and confusing the Persons and Substance of God the only ones who will really end up divided and confused are we ourselves.