The Trinitarian nature of our faith is always an intriguing description. It may be too simplistic, or too narrow to offer the fullness of the images of God, but it has historic root. The historic Trinitarian view lumps a host of images into three generalities. It is not necessarily Biblical but evolves from the tradition of the church which tried to simplify the expressions of God so that people could comprehend greater possibilities.
Those early faith ancestors recognized in the Biblical record that God, the Sacred Holy Being at the core of all that is came in a variety of forms and styles, depending on the need. Stories evolved about a God who was a creator, a prime mover over the face of the universe; A God who had directions and expectations for the creation and the creatures made. It was a God who sometimes was known as a voice on the wind, or the presence at a covenant fire; as powerful as a caster of plagues or fiery pillar. God appeared in smoke and high up on mountaintops, or hidden away in Holy of Holies. But it was also a God who was silent at times with a people who could not hear or discern where or what God was about.
It was this God that was worshipped on high places with incense and sacrifice so that the rising smoke and aroma would reach the nose of this being high above and beyond us.
But there are also stories that evolve around a man, who by faith is claimed to be the incarnation, the enfleshed presence of God on earth. This visage of God moved among us, wept for us, taught us, bled and was bruised and died. But this image of God was so powerful and filled with life that death was not an end in itself but only a passage into something more.
There are also moments in the Old Testament and the New, in which the presence of God is felt in spirit, without form, moving among us, and more importantly within us. This spirit, is the breath we breathe, the presence we sense, the courage we lack, the hope we need.
The Trinity is a way of speaking about a God who has multiple forms, not separate realities just different glimpses of the same Holiness. But the Trinity also is a way of recognizing that this vision of God holds itself in relationship. There a God who affirms and relates to the Christ on Earth. It is an intimate sharing that is as strong as the love of a parent for a child. But the unique nature of Trinitarian theology is that the third glimpse of God is the one that is instilled in us. It means we also have this relationship with God because a part of this God is alive with in, the Holy Spirit that moves within us.
To speak in Trinitarian Theology is to acknowledge the variety of glimpses of God that are given to the human creature, but also to affirms the intimate sharing with the holiness that God has intended from the beginning.
QUESTION: To what images of God that are both Biblical, but also imaginative beyond the Bible, are you drawn? Does your theology include a sense of God within?