As I prepare to discuss the Trinity on Sunday, I recapture my own puzzlement as a child over the Trinity. Never really clearly taught this essential doctrine, I understood a Jesus more human than divine and quite frankly, I didn't really want to have too much to do with a person described as a ghost and so this person of the trinity was less of a puzzle and more a potential threat.
However, I do remember meeting with God in ways that I didn't understand as I listened to the prayer of preparation before Holy Communion as a Brownie, as I was confirmed and understood how much my human Jesus suffered and on praying in the Spirit when I knew that my parents downstairs were receiving daylight breaking telephone calls about the death of my grandfather.
I also remember how the Holy Spirit seemed to clothe a woman who once came out of a prayer meeting at Lee Abbey who was so animated and friendly, calling my sister 'Anna Banana...Anna Banana' in her exuberance, I just sensed that something powerful had just happened to her, feeling myself, that I was being deprived of something very special by being sent off to the creche which I had long outgrown.
As a child, I seemed to create a God in the image of I am not sure what...distant, yet benevolent, all powerful and watching, a God of the middle classes as I witnessed a gentrified church and shiny red books with ribbons in a variety of colours, a God of the strange as exotic and sometimes downright unfashionable Christians visited my parents' house but a God who constantly nagged for my attention, who visited me in dreams and captured my interest through films and books which seemed in veiled ways to refer to him: the Velveteen Rabbit, Milton's Paradise Lost, poems by marginalised nineteenth century female poets and even Pulp Fiction as I traversed university days, neither attracted to Christian Union for its over certainties nor finding a home in either the guitar-stringing, slightly wet halls' homegroup or with the townies who spent too long discussing their babies and their children, of which I had neither.
...Pulp Fiction communicated this God of vengeance of whom I was afraid and yet, of course, Pulp Fiction does no such thing...
...and so with that in mind, I wonder if anyone on Sunday will discover that their God is too small, that they have cultivated a relationship with one aspect of the Triune God at the cost of the fullness of what He offers. As I have reread my Fiddes and my Tanner, grumbled again at the short-fallings of Grudem and Ware, I marvel again at the beauty of this God - the three in one, Father, Spirit, Son - Glory to the blessed Trinity.
...and a word about Pulp Fiction
Ordained Anglican. Thinking out loud about church.