In the liturgical calendar used by most of Christianity, today is Trinity Sunday.
It is the day when we celebrate our understanding of the three natures of God. As the early church fathers and mothers read the Scriptures, they began to articulate the relationships among the three natures. In the language of the day, which has come down to us, they are God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Scriptures tell us that the son is from the father. The Creed says that the son is eternally begotten, not made, of the same being as the father. Spirit is from the father and the son and is the giver of life.
Perhaps in more modern language we can use the words creator, redeemer and sustainer. God is still creating every day and all the time. Creation is not at an end. Sometimes that creation is slow as in what us humans call evolution; sometime it is fast as when in a bolt of inspiration a discovery is made that transforms a disease and makes it less perilous. God’s creating nature means that God uses the created world in creation.
Redeemer is a way of saying that turning around and change is possible, even necessary. Time and again in the Scriptures, God is shown providing ways and means for us humans to change the way we think, behave and fashion our relationships. The most dramatic was the change made possible by overcoming death itself, the resurrection.
True life begins with change and continues with God forever. If you would like examples of how change can come about in our world among people, watch a few episodes of “Call the Midwife.” They are full of stories about redeemed relationships, love, forgiveness and change.
Sustainer is a way of saying that God is with us always. The story in the second chapter of Acts can be read as the reverse of the story of the tower of Babel in Genesis.
There, people were all alike and were divided by God by language. In Acts, the people had all different languages, and when the spirit came they all heard the good news story of change in their own language.
The sustainer gives us humans the ability to experience the love of God in community and to express that love to others who have separated themselves from God’s community.
The Rev. Perry W. Polk is the Interim Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Fairfield.