In the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s there was an American rock and roll band named Three Dog Night, and they sang, “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.”
Perhaps no one knows the truth of this statement better than God. Famously, one of my professors asked why God created human being and after a long silence from a class room full of theological students the professor answered his own question, “Because God wanted friends.” Perhaps it’s true, God wanted to be more than one because one is a lonely number.
We can be thankful for our creation. But the friendship God hopes for is real friendship, based in our freedom to choose (or reject). Friendship that is forces on us is no friendship at all. And the Three Dog Night song, “One” acknowledges that the number two can be a lonelier number than one if the friendship is rejected, yet God risks being even lonelier for the sake of friendship with us.
In fact, God risks more than a deeper sense of loneliness, God risks everything. God sent Jesus into the world to bring us the Good News of God’s forgiveness and love and call to justice.
Jesus belonged to a faith group that was monotheistic, believing in one God. Paul standing and preaching before the Areopagus in Athenians belonged to a faith group that was monotheistic. In fact, that is the point of his sermon (Acts 17:22-31). Our faith, the Christian faith is a monotheistic religion. However, we believe that the One God is manifested in three principle ways; as creator and saviour are two. The third manifestation of the One God is as the Holy Spirit, God’s Holy Spirit, and a constant presence in our lives.
The Trinity is not of God’s making, to stave off the loneliness of being One, that’s our role (to be friends with the divine). The Trinity is of our making to help us understand the simplicity of relating to the One God, manifested as Creator, Saviour and Spirit.