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Deconstructing the Trinity

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 26 May 2013

During the Honest to God debate a couple of weeks ago the Archdeacon of Canterbury recounted how she had been berated after a sermon on Trinity Sunday in which she had joked about it being the nightmare slot for preachers and a worshipper had told her that it was a central and much loved image for his belief.

The most popular and well-loved image of the Trinity is that of Rublev’s icon.  I love it and am often drawn to look at it.  It is the chosen image of our local Anglican secondary school, Trinity, with the strap line:
    A place at the table: to be seated, to listen, where all have equal value

These are wonderful and demanding aspirations that have helped this school enormously as they moved from a failing school to become outstanding.  They are aspirations that will serve any group well.

However, and at the risk of suffering the same fate as the Archdeacon, I find myself increasingly ill at ease with the serenity at the heart of the icon.  In matters of faith and the way in which we organize our faith communities, both locally at St Martin’s, nationally and internationally the reality is that the atmosphere around the tables which we often sit at can be more difficult, more tetchy and more confrontational.  Do I regret this: No!  For if we are passionate about our belief then we shall disagree and shall disagree often.

I need now to find an image to place alongside the serenity of Rublev’s which shows more of the creative animation of disagreement.  The creative tension which causes the string of a violin to make a heavenly sound.  A sound which we can all make for the glory of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Revd David Jackson