Our scripture focus for Trinity Sunday is the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 28, verses 16–28
In the ultimate act of Matthew’s drama, Jesus meets his disciples in Galilee – the land of the Gentiles – gives them final instructions, and promises them the same empowering fellowship with the triune God that he has. But why do we even need a Trinity Sunday? It doesn’t get a lot of press. Maybe that’s because it is so confusing and we really don’t know how to talk about it. The great Augustine reduced it to a very simple illustration, using the example of a tree. The root is wood; the trunk is wood; the branches are wood: one wood, one substance, but three different entities. Let’s try another way. Remember, Jesus told us to go and baptise people in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. What if we baptised people only in the name of the Father? Besides sounding awkward, it would deny the very work and person of Christ and the ongoing activity of the Spirit. It wouldn’t be a full picture of who God is. That would lead us to mere mysticism. What if we were to baptise people in the name of Jesus? That would miss the person of ‘God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,’ the part of God that is larger than what we can see or understand and is also beyond our capacity for logic and reason. It would also miss the Holy Spirit, the ongoing presence of God with us today. What if we baptise people only in the name of the Holy Spirit? What’s missing there? Missing would be the awesomeness and creativity of God the Father and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, who is God in human flesh. We would miss the part of God who rose from the dead to overcome our sinfulness. Making disciples of Christ and immersion into the fullness of God go hand in hand. It is the Trinity, the fullness of God, to which we are attached as disciples. It is a day to celebrate the One to whom we belong, in life and in death, through the gift of our baptism.
Blessings, Fr Jonathan