Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tragedy and The Trinity

I am pondering this in the shadows of the tornado that ripped through Oklahoma May 20th, 2013 and in light of Trinity Sunday that is approaching this weekend. The Trinity is the nature of our God and is often described as a mystery. Why God allows horrific acts of nature to mow down schools and houses is a mystery as well.  A lot has been written striving to answer the question, "Where is God?" Not all the answers seem satisfactory which is probably why God allows more than one theologian to speak. Not all descriptions of the Trinity are satisfactory either but we know God is a Trinity as this is what Scripture reveals. And here we enter into the mystery of both tragedies & the Trinity. It is my goal to enter into both mysteries.

The bible reveals the nature of God and the nature of man. God comes first. He created man. What God creates is good for God Himself is good. Man was created good along with all of creation. This is the story of the first chapter of Genesis. But man was tempted and disobeyed God. We call this the Fall. Man is no longer good for he did not do good as directed by God. Now how does a good God deal with a bad man? God must be just or He would not be good. And since God is holy, man cannot be in His presence as man is not holy. Man was expelled from Paradise into a world where death reigns. And here is the rub. Death reigns in the world. This is our judgement for being bad. Man is not happy. And God is not happy. What parent is happy when their children are disobedient. So in order for God to right the wrong of man, He became incarnate. This is Jesus. Scripture is clear that Jesus was with God from the very beginning of time. And Jesus is clear that He and the Father are one. And man is still not one with God and very bad. And so Jesus who is man and God offers Himself as an atoning sacrifice so that God's justice may be met. God is still just and He is our redemption. The nature of God is not violated. Now that we can enter into His presence we are still bad by our nature and we need help. So we have been given a Helper. He is the Holy Spirit. He is one with God the Father and Jesus the Son. He helps us identify our sin and leads us to repentance. Repentance is the changing of our mind away from our bad desires toward those desires that are good. After all, God is good. So gradually we are being created into a new being.

So why then do we still have earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes? Because not everyone acknowledges God is good and themselves as bad accepting God's justice and need for redemption. The reminder of death is ever before us in order that we may repent and put our trust in God. What person wants bad people to live forever. The time we have on earth is short lived compared to eternity. But a true Christian knows of God goodness and mercy. He knows of God's help to live the life God wants him to live. He also knows that putting God in the dock questioning Him as if he were the guilty one is blasphemous since we are pretending to be God. In other words, to know God's triune nature requires us to know our nature.

There will never be easy answers to such tragedies. But God is interested in us having a relationship with Him so that we see Him as The Answer. And when we see Him as The Answer, we will know to ask the right questions. And in this way we live into that which is a holy mystery.