Thoughts on Trinity Sunday by Robin Hutt
Over 30 years ago the Anglican writer Christopher Bryant, following Orthodox tradition, suggested that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are like the arms of the Father, drawing us to himself. In a time of coronavirus lock-down many of us are deeply missing being able to hug people we love. Trinity Sunday leads us into the embrace of our loving God.
For this is the God who is for us, not against us. We are part of God’s creation, and God loves all that he has made, as a perfect mother or father loves their children. Isaiah knew this when he wrote: I will not forget you. See I have engraved you on the palm of my hand (Chap 49:14-15). God the Father is God for us.
In Jesus the all creating God, came to be with us. To share a human life in its joys and sorrows, in it delights and pains, sharing even the feeling of abandonment as many of us feel, and enduring the certainty of death. In his baptism he stood where sinful human beings stood, and thus his divinity was revealed – “This is my Son with whom I am well pleased” He stands with us still.
So we have God the Father who is for us, and God the Son who is with us in our human-ness, always has been and always shall be.
According to John Jesus, preparing the disciples to cope with his coming death, promised them that they would not be abandoned, but that the Spirit would come. Meeting them after the resurrection John tells us Jesus breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”. RUACH is the word Jesus would have used, the Hebrew which also means wind and breath. You can hear it as you say it. The Holy Spirit will be in you, like breath, deep inside us sustaining the life God has given us in his creative love.
God the Father is for us; God the Son is with us; God the Holy Spirit is in us.
The doctrine of the Trinity is not an unnecessary complication, it is simple, beautiful, comforting and reassuring. As Orthodox Christianity says: Jesus and the Holy Spirit are like the arms of God drawing us to himself. Let us give ourselves into his loving embrace.