Jesus said to the disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth . . .” John 15:12-13a (NRSV)
There are a lot of things I really don’t understand. Maybe I live with the “why” question every day, I don’t know. I joke with the congregations I serve when I talk about it and say that I have a list of questions to ask when I get to heaven, and the list just gets longer all the time. Of course, when I get there, none of them will really matter, and the scriptures tell us that we will understand anyway. (See 1 Corinthians 13:12).
So when I read the scripture above from John 16, which is Jesus talking to his disciples as he attempts to prepare them for his death, I feel a little better. Maybe some things are just to complicated and massive for us to understand. We can’t take it all in at once, thus stunting our ability to comprehend much of it.
I remember sitting through an all day workshop when the speakers gave us hours and hours of information, and after a while I felt like I was on overload, and my brain simply couldn’t take in any more information. I suspect that learning about God is like that, too, so it’s not really a surprise that trying to understand God in the concept of Triune – the Trinity – can be a bit mind boggling, as well.
Basically, I see the Trinity as the three “beings” of God who relate to us in different ways. Sometimes, I find myself making God the “head” of the family, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit subservient, but I know that isn’t the case. They are God on equal footing and they are the ways in which we experience God. Someone told me once that it is like our hand and fingers. The fingers are all part of the one hand, and each has it’s own function, but they are still connected as the hand.
That helps a little. The doctrine of the Trinity has been and continues to be challenging, but we can be sure that it is another way for us to try to comprehend (although at times in overwhelming ways) the magnitude and mystery of God in our lives and how God interacts with us as human beings. Maybe some day, I’ll understand it fully, but for now, I will trust and know that God is working in the world through me and many others to make this a better place. Thanks be to God!