It really is something of a roller-coaster: the reflection of Lent, the tension and drama of Holy Week, the celebration of Easter, and the exectancy of Pentecost, writes Rev Sydney Maitland. Then we come to Trinity: the celebration of a doctrine of the church, and none that was only formalised some 300 years after the resurrection of Jesus (ie at the Council of Nicea).
If the gospels present Jesus in a beautiful but uncompromising simplicity, then this dosctine is attractive for a wholly different reason. It draws together and harmonizes a number of strands of thought in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and it makes them wholly familiar to us in our regular woirship.
More than that, it makes a complex but beautiful 3-part harmony of theological ideas available to us in a manner that we can receive even if we cannot fully analyse it. And it is present when we receive the blessing, say the grace, baptize a child or new believer, and in many of our hymns.
But the doctrine also helps us to draw together and balance three aspects of God: the Father suggests authority, discipline, judgement, protection and of course the whole fact and self-sustaining nature of creation. The Son makes God the Father comprehensible to us in terms that we can receive and accept, by giving the unbsearchable and the incomprehensible a face and a voice that speaks our language and has lived and suffered and died: not only among us but for us. Take away the Father and the Son has little or no meaning and Jesus is equally only approachable when seen in the context of the Father. The Holy Spirit is of both and from both: not pre-existing or begotten but proceeding. His is the voice of the Son testifying to the truth of the Father. He is the also the voice of the Father saying to every generation: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased …. LISTEN TO HIM”