What is Trinity Sunday? In his last words to his disciples as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus admonishes them to go into the world and do three things: to make disciples, to baptize and to teach. Interestingly, in terms of baptism, Jesus introduces something special, something new and something vital. Jesus says baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The ‘name’ that we are all to share is the new ‘name’ of the living God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Up to this point Jesus had mentioned his relationship to ‘the Father’ and he had acknowledged being specially equipped for his task by ‘the Holy Spirit’. Now, here, Jesus brings them all together. That is the name of God we are to now use in baptism. This is the first time Jesus does this and he sets the scene for the centuries to come where the nature of God would be pored over before the beautiful and brilliant doctrine of the Trinity emerged in the Christian creeds after 300AD. We cannot plumb the depths of meaning here but, perhaps as a start, we can see God as relational, God as community, God as fellowship.
Today is Trinity Sunday when we reflect on all these great mysteries. In books on theology we know that God the Father is creator and sustainer of the universe. Nowhere is this better illustrated than at the start of the book of Genesis. Psalm 8 is equally wonderful in grasping this eternal truth. God the Son is Saviour and God the Spirit is our guide, our teacher and our source of wisdom. Yet even this is too rigid and doesn’t capture the complementarity of the Godhead, the Trinity. What then is Trinity Sunday all about? Perhaps we should close with the words of the Apostle Paul in his second letter to the church in Corinth. Here Paul tries to explain the Trinity in a succinct and helpful way: “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.”
Old Testament reading for this week: Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Gospel reading for this week: Matthew 28:16-20
Epistle reading for this week: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Psalm for this week: Psalm 8