view of a long hall in a library showing busts, books, and barrel vault

Trinity Sunday

We all know, or should know, that it is not possible for our human minds to grasp the deep mystery of the Trinity. Fortunately, then, our pastor did not attempt to explain the Trinity in church this morning.

[The angel of the Corydon Presbyterian Church may have breathed a sigh of relief. At least, I hope so.]

He did, however, preach a thought-provoking sermon on thinking about God. He suggested that, when we think about God, it brings God joy – in something like the same way it brings us joy to know that someone we care about has been thinking of us. Even if the process of thinking about God brings us, inevitably, to the limits of our own minds – which God, of course, surpasses.

In the course of this discussion, he shared a quotation, which he’d found printed out in large letters amongst some of the materials he’s been sorting through recently:

We have not succeeded in answering all our problems. The answers we have found only serve to raise a whole set of new questions. In some ways we feel we are as confused as ever, but we believe we are confused on a higher level and about more important things.

[Apparently, this saying may have come from a perhaps not-world-renowned, but evidently frankly realistic, educator, Earl C. Kelley – at least, according to Quote Investigator. Unless Mr. Kelley borrowed it from someone else, which is conceivable.]

The Wednesday evening Bible study group has reportedly decided to make this its motto.

“Words fail us,” our pastor said – the title of the sermon, too, “When Words Fail Us.” “Our words fail us, but God does not fail us.” Words fail us when it comes to the Trinity, and they fail us, honestly, when it comes to Everything that is really important in our lives. We need them, words that is, because they are our way of approaching, dwelling in the truth – and, he said, our failure to understand that truth completely does not undo the truth, and does not disqualify us from seeking it. Even our best words, our best thoughts, are ultimately insufficient, inadequate, however good they are – and the challenge for us is not to make Gods out of our words, and not to confuse human words, even Jesus’ words, with God’s Word, with The Word of God.

But as we contemplate that Word, with our limited minds and through the vehicle of our failure-prone words, we grow in Wisdom – and maybe that has something to do with the Spirit – or maybe that has something to do with Christ – or –

… maybe we are still confused. But we hope we are confused on a higher level, about more important things.

Trinity_College_Dublin,_Ireland_-_Diliff Long Room Interior
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library …”
Jorge Luis Borges
(Shown: the Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin.)

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