More Than One Name for the Trinity
There was a time during seminary when my classmates and I were challenged by our professors to think about how the pronouns we use for God shape our image in terms of how we see God. We particularly were called to think about how using only male pronouns for God tends to promote an image of God as a man which in turn has often been used to prop up a male-dominated society. There are feminine images of God in Scripture, but because God is most often described as being “he”, it is easy to forget that, God made both male and female in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27)
As I was wrestling with this in a discussion with a professor, I remember asking him about the titles used when we refer to God in the fashion of the Trinity—when we say Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Two of these names for God seem male-dominated, Father and Son. It seemed clear that male imagery for God in the Scripture is really strong. My professor said, yes, that’s true, but that there might be other ways of describing the God we see in the Trinity. He pointed out how Paul describes the Trinity in Second Corinthians chapter 13: “ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
I had heard this greeting most all of my life growing up, but I had never heard of it being another name for the Trinity. I stopped and thought about this, and realized this verse really could be another name for the Trinity. It was all there right in front of me even though I hadn’t noticed it before. The emphasis is on grace, love and communion being the dominant aspects of God.
What if we lifted up this “name” of the Trinity more often? What if our image of God was focused on grace, love and communion instead of a particular gender? How might this affect our actions in world?
– Pastor Erik