God behind the Trinity
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." - Gen 1:1
Just as these are the first words we find in the bible, this is also the place from which we start when trying to understand and comprehend God. First and foremost God is the Creator. The one who made everything we see, hear and feel, as well as all that we still need to experience. He is the one who saw nothing and created something. This is our fundamental declaration of God's identity, and we only exist because of this. If he did not speak creation into being, we would not be in creation. I mention this because, for ages unspeakable humanity has grappled with the question of God's identity, is it a she or a he, is it good or bad or apathetic, does it love us or only desire to use us, who and what is It...
As Christians, one of the ways in which we have made the incomprehensible somewhat comprehensible is through the language of the Trinity. We declare that God has made himself known throughout history, to both individuals and communities, in the guises of the Father, Son and the Spirit and that each of these guises expresses a specific aspect of God's nature. God the Father speaks to our experience of God as the one who provides and protects us, or rather it most often does, but we also have to admit that sometimes God our Father is the one we know as He who judges and punishes us. Christ the Son is often the God we experience alongside us, God made flesh who felt physically all the pain and sorrow that our world has to offer and who is therefore able to truly resonate and emphasize with humanity. He does not only look on while we suffer but suffers with us. God the Spirit is He who activates, motivates and encourages us as we eagerly look forward to the day when God's Kingdom is finally and truly reigning on earth. The Spirit is the constant affirmation that after his brief time among us as Christ, God has not abandoned us but remains active and present.
Although the Trinitarian concept has helped many in their thinking and understanding concerning the nature of God, it has also been limiting. We tend to think of God as only existing within the framework of the Trinity and any form outside of this accepted concept is wrong. In those times it is helpful to remind ourselves that the idea of the Trinity is one which was created by people, God did not hand down from heaven this understanding of his nature, proclaiming that from now and forevermore it is the only way in which he will reveal himself to us. Although the Trinity may be our current best formulated expression of God's identity, it does not mean it is the only one. Our God, He who Created, can never be limited to definitions arising from within His creation. He/She/It will forever be breaking out of the easily understandable boxes we create around Him and rather than seeking to re-enforce and protect the accepted definitions of God's identity, we should strive to find and experience our Creator in the places and shapes within and of which we are least expectant.