Sunday, May 31, 2015

2015.05.31 Trinitarian Lemmings?

Most Christians make the Christian idea of the Trinity much too complicated even to contemplate.  It’s an interpretation of the nature of divinity. A vivid interpretation full of symbolic meaning and chutzpah, but still an interpretation—of Mystery.

Historically, interpretations get messy and complex as everyone tries to say it better—over and over, for generations. But what is the spirituality of this Mystery we call Trinity?

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Cor. 13:13)

This biblical blessing is Christian code. It’s a refrain by which Christians tap out the simple belief that Godde/God is dynamic Love. That’s what they experienced, and that’s what they cherished, and that’s what they told the world. Theologian Walter Kasper is blunt about it: “Trinity is the Christian form of monotheism.”

The Greeks named it perichoresis (pronounced per-ee-kor ee’-sis) which means that three equally charged yet distinct energies cycle around, always interacting as one.  It’s a spiritual dynamism!

Just for today let’s KISS it, that’s “keep it simple, stupid,” according to twelve-step recovery jargon.

Let’s memorize the Augustinian tongue twister: “each in each, and all in each, and each in all, and all in all, and all are one”—and call it a day.  

Let’s laugh with it. Here’s a cartoon I saw in the June 1 (2015) New Yorker. It was created by artist Julia Suits who graciously gave me permission to use her work to illustrate the simple idea that divinity is dynamic love.
I see a funny amazing grace in the cartoon: the lemmings gleefully taking a leap of faith off a cliff, and the cautious measuring lemming, and his or her wise little friend who suggests she (or he) is "overthinking this" are ALL equally beloved, ALL part of the dynamism of grace.

Do you sometimes say "whee" and leap?  Sometimes measure and take proper precautions? Sometimes explain and try to persuade?  Yes. Yes. Yes.

Thanks to you Julia Suits for your humor and your creativity.