Trinity. Community. It all incorporates change, beginnings and endings, persons and promises. There is movement in it and strength, a constant becoming that embodies a process. Simply living is to be tried in the fire, tested over and again, found wanting, finding more, embracing the process.
Wrestling with victimization and inequality, individuals find themselves caught in the cruel confusion of conflict and suffering. Stress and tension multiply; anger and frustration explode in FaceBook posts and headlines, serving up a vicious cycle of blame and shame. There is not a real exchange, no real interaction, no process of becoming.
Trinity Sunday is a reminder that life is much more than that. First, it is a reminder of mystery: the idea that it is virtually impossible to comprehend life itself. Life itself is a mystery and the concept of the Trinity bears witness to that universal truth and expression. Quantum physics explains so much but cannot justify the random choices that steal lives in highway accidents, make widows of young mothers, fill cancer wards or bind lovers into families.
Secondly, it is a reminder that truthfully no one exists alone. Life begets life: the Father and the Son, one not alive without the other. One generation does not exist without the last, does not go on without the next. Even the most narcissistic are incredibly bound to other for definition; constructing identity is impossible without the balance of other. Trinity inspires and nurtures that. And the Spirit, beyond Father and Son, energizes and binds, invites and guides. That gift is the exquisite richness of interplay, the love that transcends generations and animates long past physical presence to one another. And so, once loved, loved always in spite of each failure, every transgression, even the moments of negligence. And so it is, living together just as we are.
Thirdly, Trinity is about movement just as life is about movement. There is nothing stagnant, nothing lost, nothing simple. Moments of tranquility yield to fragile vulnerability to cascading uncertainty in the shape of ordinary, daily lives. There is a complex interplay of so many factors in every aspect of life and there is a force, an energy in all that reflecting the dynamism of Trinity.
The Trinity, theologically complex, bears a deeper message for those schooled in non-academic treatises, welded to the rigors of the world such as it is. It is an emblem, a model, mirroring the importance of relationships, promising so much to the most insignificant. It is reminding all of us how much each of us matters, how challenging life is, and how meaningful every relationship is. In essence, the Trinity gives a harbor, a framework for the business of living. And while the concept of “mystery” invites charges of ignorance and superstition, ridicule and sarcasm, there is richness in meaning if allowed.