A few years ago, Holy Trinity Sunday was my favorite Sunday of the church year. I welcomed the chance to frolic in the mystery and share my enthusiasm for God’s beyond binary boundaries. Sometimes I would write blog post after blog post, in addition to a sermon, to have space for my effervescence to overflow.
Then, due to travel, I didn’t preach on Holy Trinity for two years. Now I’m facing it again, but stirring up the old fervor is not happening. Why can’t I get excited about this?
Frankly, I think it would be a waste of time in the pulpit. Should I allot 15 minutes to a dogmatic statement that eludes and excludes more than it welcomes?
David Brat, primary winner in Virginia 7th Congressional district, does not believe in the common good. So, it is every man, woman, and child for him or herself? With no common good, there can be no agreement on general civility. We’re essentially living a large-scale Survivor series, but no one is voted off the island. Instead, they are gerrymandered, ID-required, and otherwise disenfranchised. This presumes that the person in question can survive the daily shootings in schools, malls, theaters, and places of worship.
Capitalism must be the answer, rather than a common understanding of relationship and community. If it were otherwise, we would likely not need the existence of products like bulletproof blankets for kids or lockdown magnets to secure classrooms. We have decided, instead of a common good or a serious national discussion, to allow a hysterical, bullsh*t argument about gun rights, psychotropic drugs, and “kids these days” to prevail.
In the meantime, security firms are marketing to schools and black powder (for loading ammunition) is sold out everywhere. This sector of our economy is growing, fed and watered by the blood of children, racial minorities, sexual minorities, and “others”. While cool heads can generally agree that this is not necessarily a one-solution situation, no one is willing to lay down their arms (so to speak) for the sake of others.
Instead, a sense of entitlement prevails. Apparently, as the modern United States stands, my pursuit of happiness is actually defined as ability to attain. I’m entitled to attractive persons with whom to have sex (at my whim, not theirs). I should get the grades, jobs, money, opportunities, which I believe I am due. This is not merely the attitude of my peers (Gen X) or those younger than me, but an attitude that I experience daily from Boomers and the Greatest Generation.
What “used to be” was not good for many people. What “is” is terrible for many.
And there is the Trinity. The relational existence and outpouring of Godself seems enticing, in that we can delay action on anything as long as there is something in our faith that remains less than completely understood. Understanding the Trinity is the Gordian knot of contemporary theology. We must cut it, rather than seek to untie it.
Trusting that God is Source, Savior, and Sustenance moves us into the realm of the life of faith, rather than the study thereof. In a time and place that calls for actions, we need a God of movement, of internal and external activity, of past action, present guidance, and future clarity. God’s way of revealing God’s own nature and ability to meet those needs is expressed through what we have seen and trusted as true of the Holy Parent, Holy Son, and Holy Spirit.
We have work to do, specific work to which we have been called. Nowhere is that work defined as total comprehension of the nature of God. There is no shortage of ways to stand with and for the little, the least, and the lost. We take what we trust is true about God, even with our reservations, and we run with it, for the sake of the common good, for the sake of our communities, for the sake of communion.