The Trinity at The Office

People often talk about the three aspects of the trinity existencing in a perfect community.

It occurred to me that maybe this is a good way to think about the trinity, and how they are three in and one at the same time.

If you watch a community functioning at it’s best, you don’t really know where one person begins and the next one ends.  Nobody relies on strict, legalistic divisions of labor.  Everybody just participates perfectly.  It is organic.  The whole group would suffer if one part was removed, and yet, nobody could exactly point to the missing person and say “Bob?  His duties were x, y, and z.”  I’ve read the trinity’s interactions compared to a dance.  And this is a metaphor that’s more useful, I think, then comparing the trinity’s interactions to an office, for example, as we do (probably without realizing it) whenever we start trying to wrap our brains around the difference betweeen Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It’s not a bad thing, when we try and deliniate the different jobs, aspects, and importances of the aspects of the trinity.  But I suspect that they are doomed to fail, because doing this fails to account for the organic nature of community.

What do you think: are there any particularly helpful– or unhelpful– ways that you’ve heard people discuss the Trinity?


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

3 thoughts on “The Trinity at The Office”

  1. The Orthodox Church (sorry to have to bring it up again) is itself an icon of the Holy Trinity, and it functions in a trinitarian way. Some of the things you have said above are exactly how this is.

    Now, what would you do if you discovered there was a community of human beings on earth whose life together was an image of the Trinity? I know what I did.

    Here’s a mystical snippet of verse from a song by The Incredible String Band which echoes something you wrote above, and is a hint of the trinitarian lifestyle…

    How shall I say where I end, or where you begin?
    How shall I say, what shall I play, shall it be you, or the wild wind?
    As Pan with the unsane eyes or with the wild horns,
    or when I am crowned with a paper crown, or with the crown of thorns.


  2. this picture, someone says is like the trinity, they are three in one, and yet from other views, they are unique in their own persons.


  3. Uhhmm, Steve? That link brought me to a picture of a dude surfing. And to be honest, it didn’t look like the guy was wearing a bathing suit.
    Is there some meaning to the picture I’m missing?


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