Worship Matters

Trinity Sunday

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Corinthians 13:13

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Do you believe in the Trinity? Perhaps you do, as I have all my life. But does the Trinity mean anything to you? These are two very different questions, aren’t they?

Belief is the act of trusting someone who knows things you don’t know. For instance, a scientist believes in the periodic table, trusts that it is reliable, even though (s)he didn’t create the table themselves; they are trusting in the past knowledge of their scientific “tradition.” A traveller believes that the map of a city is correct without being part of the process of creating the map; (s)he is trusting in the work of others.

Belief is an act of trust, and in terms of our Christian faith, belief is our trust in an inherited tradition, our trust in the main tenants of our ancestor’s experience and understanding of Jesus of Nazareth, the Spirit, and Yahweh, passed down through the centuries in Scripture, in the history of our particular “tribe,” etc.

Meaning, on the other hand, is an act of involvement, of experience and understanding. For instance, someone who attends an anti-racism protest is likely engaged mentally and emotionally in the experience and will be able to talk about what being there means to her/him. If the person is a right-wing racist, the protest means something radically different than for a black mother who just lost her son to police violence.

I will never forget my first Trinity Sunday as a church staff member. We were planning worship and my colleague casually mentioned that the Trinity is a man-made construct. Naively, perhaps, I blurted out, “the Trinity is a reality to me!” and the conversation stopped in its tracks. My colleague was speaking a belief that she had picked up in seminary and I was speaking of a reality that I had experienced and understood because of my graduate studies.

What does the Trinity mean to you, I wonder? And what difference does it make to you in your personal faith journey or to us in our communal faith journey?

I wonder…