Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Communal Trinity

*Warning: Theological wording ahead. Proceed with caution.

How much of the Trinity is understandable? You know the whole three-in-one or one-in-three talk. Maybe someone tried to explain it to you by using a metaphor such as a tree (root, trunk, branches) or maybe as H2O (ice, water, steam). I wonder how much of the Trinity is reflected your theology or even missiology? Is it a non-negotiable dimension of the gospel? Before, I would have said, "Uh, the Trinity is neat, but don't expect me to explain it." While I still believe in the divine mystery of a Trinitarian God (Father,Son,Holy Spirit), I'm beginning to realize how it can shape our view of God and our view of ecclesiology (the church). Allow me to flesh this out a tad.

The Trinity is a community that mutually shares divine nature with one another (3 different persons, but one). The Economic Trinity, then, is each "person" as revealed in the unfolding story and work of redemption. (Father functions in the divine program for creation, Son functions as revealer of God and redeemer of humankind, Spirit functions as completer of divine will) Therefore, there is equality in the relationship between the Persons of the Trinity. Each is not welding for power or prestige between the other, but shares in united love. Yet they do not withhold their love from the created order; rather their love for one another extends beyond their realm unto all creation. They share in the same telos (goal, eschatologically driven) and seek to invite those made in their image to participate in the new reality, a new way of being despite the fact that those who are invited are of inferior status. Doing so reveals the vulnerability of this divine community knowing full well that any could prostitute this lovely invitation.

Could this image of Trinity help the church evolve into a organic community that shares responsibility, loves all, invites everyone into a new way of being?