Scripture for Trinity Sunday: Isaiah 40.12-17, 27-31; Matthew 28.16–20
Connections can be fascinating. Not just the obvious points of trivia, such as the end points of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (Dawes Point and Milsons Point), or even more esoteric connections, such as the link between Devonshire and Derbyshire in Chatsworth House, but the way that things link together in an almost improbable sequence. In 1978, James Burke had a television series called Connections, in which he explored the way such things as developments in cannons and castle walls can be seen to have resulted in the film projector.
Human beings love to feel a sense of connection. It displaces that insecurity that lurks within most of us when confronted with something or someone that looks different from us, that challenges us to consider that our way of thinking, or being, or doing might not be the only possible way, and not even the only right way. The inverse of that insecurity is the warmth that we feel when we find a point of connection with someone or something. But have to be open to hear and see the connections – which are there – sometimes quite improbably so – or buried quite deeply – in order to feel the warmth.
The roots of almost all discrimination or racism lie in the fear of what is different. A few moments of measured interaction – preferably without someone’s knee on the neck – can reveal connections and draw us together.
In fact, as creatures of faith, it might be encouraging to God if sometimes we would stop wrangling with one another about points of difference and simply focus on uplifting what we have in common – which would be a demonstration of actually having the faith that we claim to have in God, that God can nudge things in the right direction even when we are wrong.
In fact, our entire Judaeo-Christian history and its under-pinning scripture comes down to this: humans are connected to God and to one another. This what the Trinity is about, at its heart: connections – that we need to recognise, respect and nurture. What we affirm in our faith is really a story, reminding us that one God is fully present in creation, in Israel’s journey, in the ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, and in the Spirit’s empowerment of the church.
The doctrine of the Trinity affirms that God is by nature relational. This explains why the universe, including human beings, made, as we are told, in the image of God, is intrinsically relational – and why we are intrinsically social and communal beings. It’s why we are uplifted when our team wins; or why tragedy touches our hearts – when an innocent man is killed violently in public.
As such, we are meant to be called into community to develop and practise our faith, working together to strive for the implementation of Jesus’ teaching and demonstration of justice and peace, all framed by interrelationship.
Connections remind us of the relational nature of creation, of the interdependence between one another and between us and the created order that we occupy. If we make the effort to seek and find the connections in our lives, we help to build God’s network of faith and love, one spiritual link at a time.