Apparently I have mountains on the mind lately.
But this past Sunday was Trinity Sunday, and I love that there is a Sunday devoted to a Theological concept, albeit one that is pretty hard to understand.
Anyone who has ever attempted to teach a confirmation class to middle schoolers and was asked to cover the Trinity understand how difficult it is. Its one in three, each a distinct person, but still all God. In fact there was so many arguments about the Trinity over the first few centuries of the church, that the church nearly splintered under the weight.
What is so wonderful about the doctrine of the Trinity is that instead of being "solved" by rational dialogue and reason, it was instead settled by Gregory of Nazianzus who declared that the trinity was like three dancers in unison, each unique, but fully united as the dance.
The implication is that understanding of the Trinity isn't so much something that is figure out, but rather revealed, something Paul was big on in regards to the Gospel (which, it should be noted, did not exist as a written text until at least a few years after Paul's letters).
But I got to thinking about mountains, as I am apt to do lately, and I got to thinking about Mt Marcy, which is the tallest mountain in New York State, located in the middle of the Adirondack High Peaks. Because it is central to a bunch of other mountains, of which some 45 i have climbed (sorry for the humble brag), i have been lucky enough to get a lot of different views of Mt Marcy.
Each view is unique, it offers a different vision of the mountain, yet it is all still the same mountain.
The Divine is a mountain that is so large, that no matter how many vantage points one can achieve, one will never be able to get a glimpse of the entirety of it. The Trinity is three distinct vantage points of God, vistas, other mountain tops, each a unique view, but still of one mountain.
If i can try and take this to another level of mysticism, with the divine expressed in so many different ways, and with the divine as the root of all creation, if one looks hard enough, and has trained their "eyes" enough, then divinity can be seen in all places.
In other words the Trinity is just the start of the full expression of the Divine. In Christians affirming the Trinity, Christians are not affirming certainty, but rather the immensity of God, the fullness of God, that there is still an awful lot that can't be seen, even if experiencing the divine can be accessed in all places.
I have to admit, i have not found the most effective language to engage the Trinity, but in the same moment thats the beauty of it, echoing with the first phrases of Tao Te Ching; The Tao that can be spoken, or written about, or named, is not the true Tao, the eternal Tao, for the nameless is the origin of all creation. (a paraphrase)
What beautiful wonderful Good News we have been given!