Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Mysterious, Wonderful, and Confusing!

Lectionary Readings for May 26. Prov. 8 1-4, 22-31. Psalm 8, Rom. 5:1-5, John 16:12-15
Donita Wiebe-Neufeld

May 26 is "Trinity Sunday" a day for the church to consider the doctrine of Trinity, the three in one. This is how these four scriptures all tie together. Each one celebrates an aspect of the Trinity, God the Creator, Jesus the Redeemer, the Holy Spirit the Sustainer.

Proverbs 8 is an extended discussion of wisdom, celebrating God as the possessor of wisdom at the time of creation and exhorting all to aspire to find it for themselves. It's interesting how intertwined wisdom and creation are in this piece. It challenges us, as we use and shape our environments, to search for the wisdom to do this well, respecting the Creator of it all.

Psalm 8 stresses both the majesty of God and the littleness of humanity. Romans speaks of the hope in Jesus for salvation. This hope is clearly expressed in spite of great difficulties surrounding the author and his people.  Finally, the John passage talks about the Holy Spirit as the spirit of truth who will come to be with God's people once Jesus is no longer present.

The idea of Trinity is a hard one to grasp while at the same time asserting, along with Deut. 6:4, that there is only one God. My mom used to explain the Trinity to me as being like an apple, having a skin, flesh, and a core. All are parts of the one thing. Or, she would say that God is like water, and like water can find expression as a solid, liquid, or gas, so God can be experienced in different ways too.

Overall, there is a lot here for this Sunday. A lot of majesty and awe-inspiring creation, many promises for a future beyond the struggles of this age, hopes we are given for things we cannot fully grasp. And the Holy Spirit is promised to us to sustain and strengthen and provide us with truth. All of this is wonderful, but also confusing and beyond human grasp. I resonate with the smallness felt by the Psalmist. He was overwhelmed simply by looking at the glory of the night sky and wondered how God could possibly give us the kind of responsibility and trust to care for this world and each other.  It is overwhelming, mysterious, wonderful, and sometimes downright confusing-like the Trinity.

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