As I prepare our candidates for confirmation I find myself emphasising time and again that all religions are not the same, they do not believe the same thing, nor are there great swathes of uniformity on matters of ethics and moral issues. What makes Christian belief distinctive is no more clearly seen than in the belief and doctrine surrounding the Holy Trinity that we invoke every time we make the sign of the Cross; in doing so at Holy Baptism and numerous other liturgical points, as well in our private devotions we are making the claim that God is One but He is also Three.
So where does this come from? Well, as in every case when it comes to Christian teaching, we go to Jesus. Jesus not only claimed to come from God, but He spoke and acted in the very person of God. In St John’s Gospel chapter 10 verse 30 he says, “I and the Father are One.”
So, when Jesus speaks, God speaks, when Jesus heals, God heals, when Jesus promised the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth it was the third dimension of the One God whom the Christian Church worships. Why is this so important?
Well, because upon this belief is our understanding of exactly who Jesus is.
He was not some talented preacher and wonder worker but very God of very God. So when we look upon him both metaphorically and also in the art of our stained glass, and most poignantly in a crucifix we see the very face of God.
Jesus is the complete expression of God’s love. This is how St John in his epistle is able to claim that God is love. He describes the very essence of God and the interplay of love between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. To be a Christian is to be a Trinitarian and to put it simply, acknowledge the divinity of Jesus.
As C.S. Lewis famously wrote in his trilemma, there are only three alternatives regarding Jesus’ identity, he was either mad, bad or God. Trinity Sunday is the celebration of faith in the last of those three propositions!!
Keep the Faith