Seven Wonders of the Word
… and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1
A gentleman who has become a dear friend of mine came to my office a number of years ago. He was to say the least in the midst of a pretty major life change. One of the things that emerged from our conversations was a growing interest, in Christianity. You see my friend was Jewish, not just in culture, but also in faith, albeit a faith that ebbed and flowed fairly dramatically over the years.
Long story short, he came to faith in Jesus Christ, was baptized and well, lets just say it was all part of a pretty interesting story. But one of the things that was so hard for him was the concept of the Trinity. As a Jew, he had no issues with Monotheism, that is the faith in only one God, but oh did he struggle with Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. When he would speak of God, his conversation was pointedly directed to God the Father. I say this because when we spoke of God, or when we prayed or talked of prayer he would say something like, “God and Jesus” or “Jesus and God” or “God and the Holy Spirit.” God as one but in different persons just made his logic circuit’s spark and a grey haze form above his head (ok not really, but it came pretty close some times!)
Now I am not picking on him, not at all. The Trinity it isn’t easy to grasp, in fact I don’t know if anyone ever does, well at least fully. Some make a fuss because the Trinity is not directly mentioned in the Bible. The Trinity as we (more or less) understand it comes from the witness of Scripture and how people of faith have experienced God through that word. The church has ultimately left the Trinity in the realm of “mystery.” But mystery does not mean unknown or unknowable.
I have never had huge issues with the Trinity, because that in part is how I have always known God. I think that is what I liked about today’s reading the author Kathryn A. Kleinhans writes “Trinity is not just how experience God, but names who God is.” During the season of Lent I am reminded of my limitations, but I am also reminded, that God’s Word creates. Our devotion touches on some of Luther’s work on the Apostles Creed. “What does faith in the Triune God mean? It means that God created me. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, has redeemed me. The Holy Spirit calls, enlightens, gathers and sanctifies me.” This is something that is true for all Christians, and I too am brought into this relationship. I don’t know if I am on shaky theologically ground here, but God may in part be the way God is so that all people might be personally involved in this relationship. From the very beginning, God has been in relationship and continues still to be…. More on that tomorrow… yea, I looked a head, it’s a great passage from Genesis!