Some Christians put the doctrine of the Trinity in the too-hard basket. But maybe we find the Trinity confusing because we’re focusing on the wrong part. Maybe the heart of the Trinity isn’t the fact that God is three, but that God is community.
The “Great Commissioning” (Matthew 28:16-20) is a good choice for Trinity Sunday because when Jesus commands his followers to make new disciples, he tells then to do it “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (verses 19-20). In biblical times, someone’s “name” stood for their nature or their character. So praying “in Jesus’ name” doesn’t mean we say “Jesus” at the end of our prayers like a magic word: it means we need to align our prayers with the kind of person Jesus is.
So making new Christians “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” is about more than using these words in the baptism service. It’s about doing a job that is close to the heart of the character of God. But we’re not asked to do this important job alone. As we saw, the key to Trinity isn’t that God is three, but that God is community. And when we trust in God, we’re invited to become part of this community of love, so that we’re working alongside and with God, not just for God. And when we help others to come to trust God, they become part of this community too. Which means that the Trinity isn’t just a dry concept to get our heads around, but a loving community to belong to.