What is Trinity Sunday:

The first Sunday after Pentecost is the Festival of the Holy Trinity.  On this day, the church rejoices in the impenetrable mystery that God is triune (three-in-one) Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  How the Lord can be one God in three distinct persons is completely beyond the ability of any human to understand.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians accept this incomprehensible mystery as a fundamental article of faith.  How God can be one God in three Persons is a mystery.  While it is taught in the bible for example, in Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Corinthians 13:14, it can never be understood or rationalized; it can only be accepted by faith.  Since faith comes only through the work of the Holy Spirit, it is appropriate that this glorious mystery is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost, the great festival of the coming of the Holy Spirit.  The part of the church calendar between Trinity and the first Sunday of Advent is sometimes called the Trinity Season.  Prefer to describe this part of the year as the Season after Pentecost.  From Advent through Pentecost, the church ponders with joy and thanksgiving what Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have done to accomplish the salvation of sinful humanity.  During the Season after Pentecost, we focus on how we as Christian ought to respond to the love that Go has shown us.  Trinity Sunday is a transitional day that bridges these two parts of the liturgical year.  This is the solemn day on which we praise and adore God both for what He has done for the world and for who He is:  FATHER—Our Creator and Sustainer SON—Our Savior and Redeemer HOLY SPIRIT—Our Sanctifier and Comforter.  Saint Augustine was one day walking along a beach, deep in thought as to how he was to explain the doctrine of the Trinity to his congregation, when he saw a man with a spoon, carrying water from the sea and pouring it into a hole in the sand.  Augustine asked the man what he was doing.  The man replied, “I am trying to contain the sea in this hole.”  Augustine replied, kindly, that he did not think the man would meet with much success.  “I think,” the man said, “That I will have as much success as you will have explaining the doctrine of the Trinity.”

There are many people who have difficulty getting their heads around the idea of three Gods in one.  This may be because a common way of expressing God is to refer to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as if they were three separate entities.  Really, these are three names for God.  After all, there must be many names for God starting with Yahweh (or Jehovah), Lord, Lord God, and many others in almost every language spoken on the globe.  There are many things that come in threes.  The primary colors are three in number—red, blue and yellow.  We talk about the past, present, and future.  Anglican faith is based on the Bible, tradition and reason.  Paul tells us that three things remain— faith, hope, and love.  Inmarriage, there are really three partners, a woman, a man, and God.  That threesome is what makes a marriage work, spiritually, mentally, and physically.  This is how God made each one of us, by being part of a marriage.  I won’t go into details at this time.  The process is intricate and wonderful.  As both Genesis and the Psalmist tells, He made us a little lower than the angels, to have dominion over his creation.  This dominion that he gave us is full of responsibility, not just privilege.  We can think of God in terms of personality, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, just as we may think of a person as man or woman, husband or wife, and father or mother.  If we think in terms of activities that God performs, we may say, “Creator, Redeemer and Giver of Life.”  Referring to the next life, we could say “Judge, Advocate, and Comforter.”  The last word is still with the man who was spooning the sea into the sand.  Even so, we know God in whom we have faith, who gives us hope for whatever lies ahead, and whose love binds all creation together.


Source:  Douglas K. Escue

Posted on May 27, 2016 .