the Trinity

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There are so many comparisons that are used to describe the Trinity with Saint Patrick’s clover leaf being the most popular. That one sermon can be a simple starting point to understanding the mystery of the Trinity.It also can be used as a model for creating a whole slew of marginal allegories describing the Trinity. These allegories are so pervasive, some folks like to refer to Trinity Sunday as ” Bad Allegory Sunday.” So, in keeping with that tradition:

In thinking of the human spirit, what moves the spirit like a symphony? Take for example a symphony such as Beethoven Pastoral Symphony. That work, like the Trinity, can be looked at through its individual components. There is first the symphony that composer “heard” before he wrote it down. There is the silent, written score, and  the part played by the musicians in the orchestra. Finally there is that complete sound that delights the listeners heart and ears. They all are Beethoven Symphony, yet each is its own form. The Symphony that Beethoven heard in his intellect is quite different from that which the listener hears with his ears. Beethoven “heard” experiences and emotions and times and textures and rhythm, and scales, and orchestration while the listener heard these expressed in a repeatable and recognizable sound that was filtered through the composers skill,temperament, and imagination. Later in his career he would not have heard the sound because of his deafness, but I am confident he still heard his symphony. The same symphony the listener heard as sound, and the same symphony the musician recognizes as notes on a page. Three symphonies, yet all the same pastoral symphony. Distinct, yet the same. Inspiration, score, and sound. Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three and yet one. The Creator of Heaven and Earth, the first person. His only begotten Son who became Man, the Second person, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son; the third Person of the Trinity. Three persons of one God or maybe three manifestations of that God?

On one hand the Trinity is so easy to explain, it can be described by a simple clover leaf. On the other hand the trinity describes a God so magnificent that words fail to adequately express that Glory.Those (bad) allegories only give a glimpse of that trinity that we fail to even begin to comprehend. That does not mean though that our efforts are for naught as each bit of our understanding builds through those varied interpretations, even if those interpretations are flawed. It gives nuances into the character of God, with each part bringing us closer to that God, and closer to our understanding of that Trinity. Like a symphony , though everyone might not have the skill to be its composer, or be able to bring about that sound through the orchestra: but we can enjoy the sounds that reach our ears,contemplate their inspiration, and appreciate the orchestras skillful rendition.The sounds we hear also give a glimpse into that composer.I wonder though, if one were to write about a symphony: would words give an adequate description of it?  A Symphony needs to be heard and its sounds experienced to be truly appreciated.  The only purpose of (misused) words is to encourage one take the leap towards pursuing the mystery that is the Trinity, just as articles describing a musical work are many times intended to generate an enthusiasm to inspire a new listener? Those words don’t adequately describe a symphony any more than any words (or bad allegories) can describe the Trinity.They can offer a small insight, a glimmer of knowledge, or a hint of enthusiasm to encourage a person to experience either that symphony, or to put an effort into experiencing the mystery of the trinity.An experience that at first is easy to describe, yet difficult to comprehend, and still most rewarding to contemplate.

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