There has probably been a time you can recall when you experienced something truly awe-inspiring in the natural world. I can think of several. One time in particular was associated with a memory that our family cherishes. Juli, the kids and I were travelling around several National Parks in Arizona and Utah and we stopped for a visit at the Grand Canyon. The views across the canyon were magnificent at any time of day. But staying at the park and hiking around the edge of the canyon into the early evening, we had the chance to watch the colors of shadow in the canyon change as the sun slowly went down. It was a vision not only of the beauty of the created world, but testimony to the One who created it and delighted in it…the subject matter of our Old Testament reading for this Holy Trinity Sunday (you can read about it here).
There is much about the Christian faith that at first glance appears similar to any other faith: love of neighbor, pursuit of peace and justice; but Holy Trinity Sunday is a day that Christians marvel at God in a way that no other people of faith can because Christians hold fast to a God who is one God…yet active and revealed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The goal for us on this day is not to try to tease out a picture of God that conforms to our own limited logic and reasoning…or to represent the Trinity in an imperfect object lesson of eggs and apples. The author of the Book of Proverbs would like us to experience God through the voice of Wisdom, the Master Craftsperson present at the foundation of the world. Wisdom is the One who delights in what was created and dances (the Hebrew word in 8:30-31 is the same word used for King David’s dance before the Ark of the Covenant) in God’s inhabited world. Wisdom rejoices in the people of God’s creation.
The original author of Proverbs would not live to see the day that Wisdom would not only be a possession of the Creator, but be born in a manger. Wisdom would not yet be associated with the crucified and living Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth (1 Corinthians 1:24) or the Holy Spirit, the gift of Wisdom that recreates the human heart, a gift that Jesus came to bring (Eph 1:17). But for all who are weighed down by death in whatever form death might take…the specter of physical distress or the intangible spiral of anxiety…Wisdom still speaks, still dances, still comes from the hand of the marvelous and ever renewing Holy Trinity, taking us by surprise and re-creating hope within us.
The Holy Trinity is engaged in a marvelous, never-ending dance, that began with the origins of the awe-inspiring world we see today. Created for joy, let’s join in.