Today is Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, creator, redeemer and sustainer, one in three and three in one. Many preachers have attempted various analogies for the trinity, and of course none of them come close to explaining this great and glorious mystery, but some of them might help us to understand something about who and what God is.
Today we are using fidget spinner to help us think about the trinity. When we hold the fidget spinner still, we can clearly see that it is one object in three parts (which is not quite what the trinity is!). But it’s when we start to spin it that things get interesting. The three seem to become one, as the spinner moves. Father, son and holy spirit, three and one in continual movement.
The idea of the trinity in motion is not a new one. The Church Fathers as early as the 4th century AD wrote about “perichoresis” – literally, dancing around one another – to describe the relationship within the trinity. The essential thing to understand about this idea of movement within the trinity is that God, though unchanging, is not static. God exists in movement and in relationship. And into that movement, that relationship, that eternal dance, we are invited.
The movement of God re-orients us, points us in a new direction. When we say on Ash Wednesday “turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ” or when we ask those to be baptised “do you turn to Christ?”, that is what we are talking about. When people speak about their lives being “turned around” by an encounter with God, that is what they are talking about – the redirecting of our lives and our very beings away from the things of evil and towards the goodness and holiness of God.
When we allow ourselves to be caught up in the movement of God, we are turned around, our focus and direction fundamentally changed, and then we find ourselves spun around and out, out into the world which is already Christ’s, to proclaim in every word and deed, the Good News of the triune God. The truth that God is love, and we are loved. That you, whoever you are, whatever you’ve done or had done to you, wherever you come from are loved, and called to love.
And when we step into that dance, that movement, that relationship which exists within the trinity, within Godself, we are caught up too in the work of God. In prayer, in worship, in communion, and in acts of service, generosity and love, we become part of the action of God in the world, as we are part of the body of Christ.
Jesus speaks of this in our gospel reading, in his final instructions to his disciples, the Great Commission. They are not to stand still, not to rest on their laurels. It is not enough to have seen the risen Jesus, they need to be transformed by their encounter with him, to let it change the direction of their lives. They need to take their place in the never-ending dance of God’s love. They are called to participate in the life of the trinity and in the mission of God. And so are we.
“Go” says Jesus. Do not stand still, but be drawn into the movement of God. Then go out, take your place in the joyful, life-giving dance of the Trinity, and draw in others to know the love of God.