Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Trinity

The Christian faith is a monotheistic religion, one that proclaims that there is only one God. Some people naively think that because we are also a Trinitarian faith (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) that we have tossed out monotheistic beliefs. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Trinitarian formula is an acknowledgment that we experience the one God in three main ways, as creator, redeemer and sustainer.

The Ground of All Being
Anglican theologian and philosopher Paul Tillich called God the “ground of being” because God is the answer to the question of existence. In other words, we are here; everything is here because God caused it to be. Ground is another word for soil and for me this builds upon the wonderful image and purpose of the concept of the Trinity. It is in the ground, in the soil that we are rooted. God is the soil and the source of our existence and all that we need to live.

The Body of Christ
If we are rooted in God then we live in a body, in this case the Body of Christ. We also refer to the Body of Christ as the Church. As frustrating as any organization can be the Church is still a pretty good way to live in community with others and to be rooted in the Ground of all Being. In the New Testament Jesus is portrait as the head of the Church and the believers as the body. St. Paul spoke of the Church as being like the vine (Jesus) and the branches (us). Joan of Arc said, “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter.”

The Spirit of Joy
In one of the creation stories in Genesis and on the Day of Pentecost God’s Holy Spirit is experienced as wind. To this plant (the Church) rooted in the Ground (God) the Holy Spirit blows to bring life and to carry the seed to be rooted in other places.

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