Celebrating Our God beyond Understanding
The festival of the Holy Trinity celebrates the wonder of relationship with God while leaving us distinctly dissatisfied with our limited understanding of what God is. While guarding against the idolatry of language, we survey our scripture, doctrine, creeds, and symbols of our heritage. Equally important, we pray for God to inspire fresh, innovative ideas of God in the present moment.
Today’s gospel contains one of the few biblical references to the trinitarian formula. As the eleven are commissioned to make disciples, baptize, and teach, we are invited to consider our calling to influence the world with the good news of God’s love. The text from Second Corinthians also includes a kind of naming of the Holy Trinity in an affectionate sign-off of a personal letter. With the psalm praising God the creator and sustainer of all creation, Genesis 1 relates the first of two creation stories, this one an ancient liturgy celebrating God as a divine plural.
That God that is beyond our understanding may be both troubling and comforting. The temptation may be to attempt to apprehend the idea of God with our intellect, offering the worshiping assembly a showcase of various models for God. The result is usually disappointing and feeds our bias toward intellectualism. Another possibility is to celebrate God’s presence in all its glory and colorful wonder and our belonging to this wonder-full God.
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20
After his resurrection, Jesus summons his remaining disciples and commissions them to baptize and teach all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”