I’ve had St. Patrick’s Breastplate stuck in my head all week. Which is of course great! But it’s been making me think about the Trinity a lot. I hope this invites you to contemplate the Trinity – the mystery and the beauty. Contemplation of God is worship of God. But I’m not a theologian so please excuse any imperfect language or accidental blasphemy.
Religion, as a human phenomenon, is all about the relationship of the divine to creation, and what that relationship means for humans. [While I’m not writing a comparative religion post, in understanding religions about the relationship of the divine to creation, it gets pretty difficult to say “all religions are the same.” But I’m digressing]. There is nothing more fundamental about Christianity than the doctrine of the Trinity and it’s relationship to creation and humanity. The cool thing about it is that because of the Threeness, we can see that the divine Oneness of God actually has three aspects of relationship to creation.
God the Father is the maker of heaven and earth. He spoke it into existence. God the Father is Spirit, pure light, perfectly holy: totally other from creation. To paraphrase Dallas Willard, God the Father is pure disembodied will. He is outside of time and infinite in power, knowledge, and presence. God is pure benevolence and pure love.
God the Son, Jesus Christ, has a very different relationship to creation. As a fully-human man, he is part of creation: flesh and blood, protons and electrons. He is in time – born just about 2000 years ago. But, more mysteriously, as the Word, Jesus is also the foundation of creation: by and through him all things were made. The Word became flesh, suffered with creation, and died. He is also the first born of a new creation – resurrected in a new age that by his blood we will join him in one day.
By God the Holy Spirit, we participate in the divine. The Spirit of God lives in us, comes on us in power, teaches us, and forms us. By the Holy Spirit the Church is united as the body of Christ.
This is the Christian teaching on the divine and creation, as I can see it. Separate and different kind in one sense, but creation enveloped by the divine in another sense. In Christ the divine entered creation. By the Holy Spirit we participate in the divine. Praise God!