In my Systematic Theology class, yes I am in seminary online through Knox, we are studying the Trinity.
At the word Trinity, my eyes typically glass over. My mind begins to wander because how could I ever understand something so outside of human experience? Yet I came into these lectures knowing a few things about the Trinity.
1. God is three people in one God.
2. All three people are equal.
3. God existed forever.
So what is interesting is that I am learning these things in seminary and then going deeper because they ask the question how does that work. So I have been introduced to words like aseity and filioque. What I have discovered is they are similar to medical terms. For instance that purple spot on your leg where you bumped the open dishwasher door, you would call it a bruise and a doctor would say it is ecchymosis. So if you say God has always existed and no one brought Him into being then a theologian would call that aseity. Fun right?
So with the trinity I am digging deep and thinking about how they can be three people and yet one in essence. Tough stuff. However in the digging I ran across this quote.
Gregory of Nazianzus said, “No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the Splendor of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Them than I am carried back to the One.” So Gregory is saying that once I think of God as One, the three parts of God show up and surprise me. Then once I say yes I see how God the Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct, then I can’t get away from the fact they are One.
Perhaps this idea is rattling around about your head or seems super simplistic. But it really got me that when I think of one part of the Triune God, I am really thinking of all of the Triune God. So God is a God who is perfectly satisfied in His Triune nature and yet chose to express His glory and love in creating and redeeming our world. It is a humbling thought.