RCL Year A Trinity Sunday
Genesis 1:1–2:4a, Psalm 8, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Saint Matthew 28:16-20

We find the central doctrine of Christianity front and center today. And that doctrine is that of the Holy Trinity; namely, that the One God exists in Three Persons and one Substance.

How did we come to have this doctrine? We begin with the fact that the Trinity is a mystery in the strict sense. We cannot find it out by reason alone. And when reason fails, we can turn to experience enshrined in the Scriptures.

And there we find the doctrine in an early stage of development. Two principal examples are to be found in the Lessons today. In the Gospel, Jesus tells his eleven disciples, the twelve minus the one who betrayed him, to make disciples of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”[1] Using our reason, we can say that either Jesus actually said that or he did not. If he did, God in Jesus is revealing the Trinity and giving us the doctrine by that revelation. If Jesus did not say that, then God gave the experience of the Trinity to Saint Matthew who reveals the Trinity so that it becomes part of our experience. Either way, God is behind the revelation of the Trinity.

And in the Epistle, we have a similar dynamic. Saint Paul ends his Epistles to the Corinthians with a blessing in the Name of the Trinity: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”[2] Somehow Saint Paul experienced the Trinity, and he adds that experience to his blessing to make the Trinity part of our experience as well.

And so it is. The Scriptures record experiences of the Trinity, and those experiences are shared with anyone reading them to become the Church’s experience as well. Even in the First Lesson, you may see God the Father in whole act of creation, God the Son in the act of speaking, and God the Holy Spirit in the wind sweeping over the face of the waters.

The doctrine of the Trinity, then, begins with the experience of the writers of the Scriptures, and through those Scriptures becomes our experience as well. And that experience paves a solid road, well-marked, on which you and I can make our journey.

I believe that if we look with all of our being at every experience of our lives, we shall see God’s footprints and fingerprints. And those prints become the most important things that we can know and that we can live by. And the sum total of all that knowledge is this. God loves us: God the Father created us; God the Son redeems us; and God the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, now and for eternity.

[1] Saint Matthew 28:19.

[2] 2 Corinthians 13:13.