An Australian priest by the name of Father Denis Edwards authored a book several years ago entitled The God of Evolution: A Trinitarian Theology. I especially appreciated one paragraph in it because for me it shed new light on the notion, the doctrine, of the Holy Trinity. He wrote:
The God of Trinitarian theology is a God of mutual and equal relations. When such a God creates a universe, it is not surprising that it turns out to be a radically relational and interdependent one. When life unfolds through the process of evolution, it emerges in patterns of interconnectedness and interdependence that “fit” with the way God is.
Scientists today are increasingly heard emphasizing the fact that the entire universe, as Father Edwards has just pointed out, is relational in nature at its core, each tiniest part and particle connected interdependently with all other parts, down to and beyond even microscopic bacteria.
How many times have you, for example, stared up at a flock of birds, hundreds of them, all flying in formation, making turn after turn in split-second precision? That’s connection, relationship, intercommunication for which they had no training: they were conceived and born that way ultimately because – again a quote from Father Edwards – that’s the way God is!
You can see immediately why the Christian church is putting an unprecedented emphasis on ecology and environmental custody these days: the universe is God’s gift to us all and it is our duty, our solemn obligation, to care for it as intelligently and tenderly as we can. There are those who ask what this has to do with religion. The answer should be obvious, but apparently for some it is not. Just as we are the primary caretakers of our own bodies and must not abuse or endanger their welfare irresponsibly or selfishly, so are we morally and spiritually obliged to take loving, respectful care of this planet that we call Mother Earth and the universe that surrounds it.
I understand Trinity to mean that Creator, Savior, and Sanctifier – Father, Son and Spirit — represent the relationship out of which the entire universe with its galaxies and black holes, its dinosaurs and bacteria, its humans and possible space aliens have come! And, best of all, we know from Trinity that the root and the ultimate goal of our lives are love and that we are our fullest, best and truest selves, and are most like the Creative Spirit we call God, when we love in any way.
While we can never comprehend the infinite God, we have inherited enough knowledge of God to be aware that we are loved into life, not only in our conception and birth, but at every moment of our existence — and in our death. We know also that God is not like us, but that we are made to become like God.
Trinity is the most basic truth about the ultimately incomprehensible God. And Trinity is about us: that relating to each other in goodness & caring & peace & love is what being human is meant to be – because that is fundamentally what the eternal life of God is. The success appointed for us humans is simply that we learn to root everything we say and do in love – the Trinitarian love from which we come and have our being.