Though mystery, the Trinity is more than a fun thought exercise. It is the very essence of our existence and ought to be the basis for our life. When I seek to understand the nature of the Trinity with my mind, it baffles, boggles, and generally confuses me. When I seek its mystery with my heart (soul), however, it enraptures, enlivens and restores me. Relationship with this three-one God is not reducible to sound doctrine or essential theology. Like all relationships, it must be experienced.
God has given us god-self in Father, Son, and Spirit so that we might have life, joy, and peace. This is a reality better celebrated than understood. It is the daily living of this relationship that allows our appreciation of it. A relationship between spouses provides an excellent parallel. While I can describe in great detail many of the interactions my wife and I share, I can never capture in those explanations the essence of living them. Life together is more than the sum of our experiences. So too, the life within God’s self and between God (Father, Son, and Spirit) and us defines itself by the experience rather than the explanation.
Our tendency is to understand our role in the relationship as one requiring grand acts of heroic self-sacrifice. But, self-sacrificial love lives not primarily in the momentous heroic acts we see in movies and literature. Nor is it Christ’s ultimate act of sacrifice, crucifixion, that reveals it. For few are so bold to make such an offer only in the moment of crisis.
Rather, formed daily by quiet, largely unknown acts of self-giving love, we act without thinking at the moment of crisis . The act of daily becoming allows us to reclaim our created purpose and perfection in love. Christ is only able to approach the cross because of a life live in humility, obedience, and self-resignation. He becomes one of the least on the cross only because he has spent time with them day in and day out. Only because he has healed the sick, demon-possessed, and broken can he allow his hands nailed and his side pierced. So too for us.