Our God isn’t a problem to be solved, nor an enigmatic knot to be untied. Too many Trinity Sunday sermons give exactly that impression. Rather, our God is love. That is the message of Trinity Sunday.
It’s not simply that our God chooses to love. It’s not merely that our God is loving. The Christian gospel makes credible a much more glorious message- ultimate reality has always been, is now and ever shall be, communal and self-giving.
Our Triune God has never been alone… ever, and He exists by pouring himself into another. He is love.
Love is more than the commanded end toward which we all strain. Love is the beginning and root of reality itself. Take away “complete and total self-giving,” and our God would cease to exist. This is not because we’d be getting his character wrong, but rather because without everlasting self-giving there would be no eternally begotten Word of the Father and no eternal procession of the Son’s Spirit.
God would not be a Father; he’d be a hermit instead, and the One revealed in the face of Christ would not exist.
To Christians everywhere, a god without love isn’t a matter of mistaken identity; it’s a matter of divine stillbirth.
This is the truth we are meant to remember on Trinity Sunday- true glory and power, Godlike glory and power, consists in individuals living in, for and through each other.
Of course, this is the truth that the whole of the Christian year holds up to us. From Advent to Whitsunday- this is the truth. But on this Sunday- after the whole story has been told- we finally see the eternal spiraling relationship, which makes the helpless creature’s exaltation almost a hope from the very beginning.
If you only knew my God, then perhaps the gospel wouldn’t come as a surprise. Not because it’s any less amazing or gracious, but because he’s never been stingy with himself.
That’s just the way he is…literally.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen.