Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Fourth Dimension of the Trinity

Trinity Sunday: the day so many priests run away from the pulpit. This seems to be one of those Sundays when the most junior clergy person is asked to preach, and is given over to explain to the congregation the nature of our triune God. Hazing for priests, I suppose. If the person preaching is smart, however, they'll quickly reach this conclusion: "I don't know. I can't explain it. Too many have tried and failed because we're attempting to wrap our minds around the real question inherent in the question of the Trinity: 'What is the nature of God?' And that's beyond our human capacity to answer in any full, complete way. So let's move on..."

When I think about something like the Trinity, the first thing that comes to mind are the lines from Isaiah 55:

"For your thoughts are not my thoughts, nor your ways my ways, says The Lord."

Theologians, and church wonks of all kinds, have wrestled with ways to explain how God can be Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all at once, with distinctly different roles, being of one substance, and not three separate persons. Lots of people have been called heretics, cast out of the Christian community, embraced, then discredited, then embraced again... only to finally be thrown out for a final time all because of the doctrine of the Trinity, or the equally quarrelsome Eucharistic feast.

From where I sit, on Trinity Sunday 2013, I wonder if our 3-D God isn't missing one other dimension: the feminine power of God which is found every time we encounter the Wisdom literature of the Hebrew Scriptures. Consider what is today's reading from Proverbs:

Does not wisdom call,

and does not understanding raise her voice?

Ages ago I was set up,

at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

When there were no depths I was brought forth,

when there were no springs abounding with water.

Before the mountains had been shaped,

before the hills, I was brought forth--

when he had not yet made earth and fields,

or the world's first bits of soil.

When he established the heavens, I was there,

when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,

when he made firm the skies above,

when he established the fountains of the deep,

when he assigned to the sea its limit,

so that the waters might not transgress his command,

when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

then I was beside him, like a master worker;

and I was daily his delight,

rejoicing before him always,

rejoicing in his inhabited world

and delighting in the human race.

This feminine force of Wisdom has been with God from the beginning; hence she is weaved into the Trinity with the Son and the Holy Spirit. This, I believe, supports my theory that the completion of the Trinity called, "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," is colored with the feminine Wisdom, present in all three persons of the Trinity. Wisdom adds the depth and breadth to the Trinity. Wisdom is also present in Christ's mind, body and spirit; hence, even this male personage, who came down from heaven to be born, live, and die with us, had a well-developed sense of his feminine side, too. Andrew Harvey, and others, have pointed to this being the Androgyne Christ: Christ, who explodes the binary concept of gender, and invites us to also let go of those things that separate us from God through gender constructs. This Wisdom, inherent in the Trinity, will rock us, challenge us, and guide us to a new relationship with God, the Three in One and One in Three.

It will happen... if we let it.

1 comment:

Phoebe McFarlin said...

Holy Father, holy Son, Holy Spirit
Three we name thee,
while in essence only One.
undivided, God we claim thee,
then adoring bend then knee and
confess the MYSTERY.
Hymnal 1982 366 vs 4 comment