Behind me is a long weekend of church-lady duties, and before me lies another, so in an attempt to rest and refuel on this rainy Monday in Washington, DC, I have before me a wonderful article by Jason Byassee from the last edition of Christian Century (April 20, 2010), titled “Politics in a Small Church: Family Feud”.
We’ve been talking about the Apostle’s Creed in our Wednesday Night Words class at Calvary Baptist Church, which has got me thinking about the Trinity. Mr. Byassee (sorry, it’s not clear from the notes if he is Rev. Byassee) really brings the theological language to the present for me:
…”One of the Trinity became incarnate and died, leaving us the pattern for how God would have us live. Not only that, but another member of the Trinity is poured out on the church in Pentecost, sacrements, life together, to sweep us into the triune life. The Trinity, in short, is not something ‘up there’ that we try and strain our gaze to look at and imitate, but something ‘down here,’ in Christ, in the church, straining us through enemy love into divine love. Augustine makes this point clear in his Confessions — we strain our vision upward looking for God, and then stumble over the crucified slave at our feet. …
The Trinity doesn’t tell …(us)…how to live. it doesn’t tell the rest of us who to vote for or how to keep a church from splitting. The Trinity says that One on the cross, who was raised three days later–that that One is God, not less than the One who sent him. And that that One who blows life through the church through history and through space and time now–that that One is God, not less than the One on the cross who was raised three days later.”
Thank you, Mr. Byasse, and Mr. Augustine. What a gift on a Monday morning.