The Trinity, Thomas Jefferson, and Thinking Faith

Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17 and John 3:1-17

The first Sunday after Pentecost usually emphasizes the doctrine of the Trinity: “one God in three Persons.” Such an understanding of the One God brings together all the revelation of God Incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth as well as the full divinity of the Holy Spirit.

Having said that, it still requires an act of faith and a lifetime of Bible and theological study to even come close to understanding how One can be Three! Our third President Thomas Jefferson was an ardent student of the Bible and Christian faith, but just could not accept the idea of the Trinity. And he had difficulty accepting the divinity of Jesus!

We can applaud Jefferson’s grand contributions to our country’s founding and to the fashioning of democracy but he is less helpful as a Bible scholar and theologian! Even so, he tried to understand and apply that understanding to his personal faith and national interest.

Sunday we will worship God as Trinity and ponder the mystery of our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. Our understanding of God will always fall short of our capacity to use reason, but we will always be about praise and thanksgiving believing that ultimately God is love and THAT we can follow from the cradle to the grave! Sometimes we just have to “sing our faith,” walk the faith daily, and humbly pray for wisdom in our seeking the things that matter most, the ultimate meaning of our lives.

How fitting that Trinity Sunday falls on Memorial Day weekend. A civic holiday in which we honor those who offered the ultimate sacrifice for our common good. God as Trinity is intimately involved in our humanity, knows the death of a Son, and goes on to support us in our losses and griefs as the Advocate, Counselor Spirit!

Amen and Amen!!

Pastor Barry †