TRINITY 3: Personal stuff
Having spoken about the relationality of God I’m eager to press on to talk about love. Instead, I’m going to press the pause button and think about ‘personhood’. Interestingly, the modern concept of personhood first arose when the early Church Fathers were wrestling with this very concept of God as Trinity. God is one being and three distinct persons. Anthasius (4thC) in his creed was keen to ensure we “neither confound the Persons, nor divide the Essence.” There is unity in essence but distinctiveness in persons. The Father is God but he is not the Son, and the Son is God but he is not the Spirit etc. And yes, my head is spinning too! It is, however, thrilling to realise that, humanity having been made in his likeness, we are called to deep companionship and unity. In a culture where loneliness is an epidemic this is great news and we as a church should be a place where it is difficult to be lonely. But secondly, we might be called to unity but we are not called to conformity. Our distinctiveness and personhood is to respected, enjoyed and valued. We are not subsumed in a pool of nothingness. We do not lose our identity when we relate to God, rather our distinctive and created personhood is gathered up in the great dance of the Three-in-one.