How Is 3 in 1 Possible?
#HowIsThreeInOnePossible is the podcast for June 11, 2017. Christians make and incredible claim: God is one and three at the same time. Mark Kurowski makes the case that the possibility of God being three in one makes other possibilities open and available to us all. Listen here and find out more: Download it into your phone. #Trinity #TrinitySunday #BecauseHeCan #Mosaic #Father #Son #HolySpirit #GodBeyondLimits #Matthew28 #Matthew #Possible #Mercy #GodofthePossible
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For My Spiritual Advisor, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 6/11/2017 , Trinity Sunday.
Please pause this audio and read Matthew 28:16-20.
Because he can! Because he can! Because he can! Because he can! That is the answer to the question. The question is, “how is it possible for God to be one and three at the same time?” Because he can!
Have you every looked at a mosaic? It is a set of tiles that are individually on their own beautiful in every regard. Yet, when they are considered together, we see how they are essential to the whole. So, you could see a beautiful mosaic as one image, or you can see close up the individual tile as a whole beautiful image in its own right. Either way, you are correct.
So, too, is God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is God, one essence. Yet, like the mosaic tiles, God is at once also individually Father, complete; Son, complete, and Holy Spirit, complete. You may ask how this is possible. That is when I say, “Because he can.”
The God of the universe is an all-powerful being who is beyond the rules of physics, beyond the created order because he created the order. That is important. We often make the mistake of thinking of our own situation, our own limitations, the limitations of the planets, stars, and of the universe itself and say (with hands about a foot apart), “This is what is possible.” We Christians make the claim that “with God, all things are possible” because he is outside of the rules, he makes them, and abides by them as is fit for him in his role as God.
The weakness of most “gods” as depicted by others is that they say, “this god is limited to these areas of action,” or “this god is limited to be this.” We say, “Our Lord has placed limits on himself only in so far as he created us in his image and respects our freedom to make decisions.” That is for anothersermon.
This could be capricious. Someone could say, “Well then, maybe God is a clown in a clowncar driving throughout space.” Well, that is a distinct possibility, but that is not how God has revealed himself to be. Yes, that is correct, as is pointed out in the reading from Genesis: The one who created has the desire to be in communion with the order, or universe, he created. We say “the Father created” and he did. This is where we can know the Trinity through how Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work.
The Father created through a reasoned order. There is a logic, a word that finds its root in the Greek word “Logos,” which John says was in the beginning with God and is God. John goes on to say that all things were created through the “Logos”, which translates to the English word “Word.” We understand that this logic, this Logos, this Word, came and humbled himself to dwell with his creation. We know God here is God the Son. God the Son became Jesus by dwelling within Mary and being born. He did it so that he could renew what it meant to be human.
The very life given to all creation was given from the Father, through the Son (as the reasoned order of the Universe), in the Holy Spirit. The animating Spirit that sustains us is the Holy Spirit. In the very act of creation, the one God Created through activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit individually: One plan, one God, three Persons.
We see that the Lord God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, never does anything in one Person without the other Persons because there is One God who acts as One. We see that the Father did not descend into Mary as the Son to become Jesus. We see that the Father did not descend on the Apostles as the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. We see that the Holy Spirit empowers us to give the forgiveness wrought on the Cross by the Son’s sacrifice, so that we can be one with the Father. These are the mosaic tiles up close. We experience God, because of our limited nature, in one mosaic tile at a time. This is what causes some to say God is only like this, or God is only like that. We do not say that. We say God is free to be who God is. God has told us that he is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: that is what the Gospel from Matthew tells us on this day.
At the beginning of Mass, the priest will say, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all,” just like St. Paul told the Corinthians at the end of his 2nd letter to them. Here we have grace, love, and fellowship offered to us from the one God who made the heavens and the earth and all that are in them.
The other day, my daughter and I were recounting how I told you about the time, when she was about eight years old, I was putting her to bed and I said, “Honey, before the heavens and the earth, God.” She whispered to me at that moment, “freaky.” Here is an update. She told me that she pondered that for weeks. She said it revealed how with God, all things are possible. This knowledge of how God has revealed himself in the Trinity is important to us Christians. It is how we know that God is as God is. God has revealed himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is outside of the universe, outside of the rules we must physically abide by. This is what makes it possible for God to be close to us at the same time he is far away. He is Father, in the clouds, he is Spirit in our hearts, he is Jesus, the bread and cup we are about to take upon our lips this day.
Why would God have mercy and forgive me or you? Because he can! Why would God go through all the trouble to expose the sinfulness of human power in religion, government, and personal relationships? Because he can! How could God count the hairs on my head and love me individually as he is loving every other person in the universe? Because he can! We could go on for some time like this, but we must move on.
The very possibility of God being able to be one and three at once means that God is the God of possibility. Possibility breeds hope. God is a God of hope. Possibility opens up mercy. God is a God of mercy. Possibility is a position of generosity. God is a God of generosity.
Today is Trinity Sunday. It is the day we celebrate this three-in-oneness of the God of the Universe. It is a day that we rejoice that no matter what we have done, who we have hurt, how bad we have been, we can start over with a new possibility of forgiveness with the God who makes all things possible because he is three-in-one possible. He can forgive you when you feel you are unforgiveable because he is possible and makes all things possible. Rejoice. Your God is near. Amen.
This audio is under the copyright of My Spiritual Advisor, Incorporated and may not be used, reduplicated, or distributed for commercial use without the express written consent of My Spiritual Advisor, Incorporated. My Spiritual Advisor, Incorporated, 2017.
Mark Kurowski, M.Div.
Spiritual Director, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Theologian