So it’s my tradition after the prayer of the day to bring a message to all of God’s children. And if you don’t know already, I’m a bit of comic book nerd. My three favorite heroes are Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight. But I’m also pretty fond of Spider-man and so I have with me 3 spider-mans. Now if you’ve seen the movie Spider-man: No Way Home, you’ll remember there’s many scenes where there are three different Spider-mans who come together to save the world. One is a Spider-man played by the actor Tobey Mcquire and he was the original spider-man in the movies that came out in the early 2000s. The other Spider-man was played by Andrew Garfield in the movies that came out in the 2010s. Finally, the third Spider-man was played by Tom Holland who first appeared in the movie Captain America: Civil War in 2016. So we have three actors who played spider-man in three sets of movies. They’re all spider-man but is Tom Holland exactly the same as Andrew Garfield or Tobey Mcquire? No. They’re different. So how can these three actors be spider-man all at the same time while being different from one another?
Now we could talk about the multiverse and how the marvel comic book imagine the universe – but that idea how they’re all spider-man but their also a little bit different while still being superheroes who love and serve and try to make a difference – is an example we could use to describe the word Trinity. Today is Trinity Sunday when we remember and celebrate who we understand God to be. There is one God who we discover through God the Father – or Creator, God the Son – i.e. Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. The Creator isn’t exactly the Son or the Spirt and vice versea but they’re all God. They’re individually fully God and still distinct, in their own way. The idea of the Trinity is something that’s not easy to understand and if you think about it too long, your brain might start to hurt. It might sound like we’re talking about three separate God or three parts of God but we’re not. We’re talking about God who we experience in three distinct ways – just like how Spider-man is always spider-man and the actors are always spider-man but there’s distinctiveness and connection and a kind of divine community in God that loves and serves us. The Trinity isn’t easy to understand and it’s okay if we never understand it. Often we don’t understand things and we might feel uncomfortable or sad or even get defensive and angry because of what we don’t know. It’s not easy to not know; it’s not easy to be uncomfortable; it’s not easy to realize that there’s somethings we’re never going to fully grasp. But Jesus teaches us that being uncomfortable isn’t a bad thing; that getting emotional about being uncomfortable is pretty human; and that there are mysteries in life that we can’t always grasp and solve. It’s okay to be uncomfortable but we don’t have to let being uncomfortable dictate how we love, serve, and help one another. We can, instead, trust that the God who lived a human is a God and who told you in baptism you are loved forever – which is a completely weird and hard to understand thing – will always be with you. And God doesn’t ask you to understand that love but rather to experience it, to welcome it, to claim it as your own – and use that love to love others too.
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on Trinity Sunday , 6/12/2022.