The origin of Trinity Sunday
The first Trinity Sunday was instituted in the 9th century by Pope Gregory IX. However, it wasn't until the 14th century that Trinity Sunday was officially established. Pope John XXII was the head of the Catholic Church from 1316 until his death in 1334. He was also the longest-reigning pope from the Babylonian era.
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
In Genesis 18, we have the story of Abraham and Sarah welcoming three guests. They are travellers who pass by Abraham and Sarah’s tents and in a typical show of middle eastern hospitality, Abraham runs out to meet the travellers and invites them to rest and eat with him. He gives instructions to his servants to make bread and kill a goat. But while the travellers are talking with Abraham and Sarah, the narrator of the story changes the language – suddenly we are told that this is The Lord speaking to Abraham and Sarah. The travellers are angels speaking the words of The Lord. Hence the expression ‘entertaining angels unawares’.
This then is an image of hospitality. The hospitality of God in meeting us in unexpected places and the hospitality we must show to one another, never knowing when the people we welcome are in fact angels speaking the words of God.
One writer has said ‘the Church is intended to be an image of the life in communion of the Triune God’. Read that again. The communion shared between Father, Son and Holy Spirit is intended to be the communion shared between us as followers of Jesus Christ. This says something about the quality of our relationships – both as individuals and as churches.
Now we know the Church doesn’t live up to this. We are a human institution as well as the body of Christ. We struggle and fail in all sorts of ways. But it’s good to be reminded of God’s intentions for us and to know that just occasionally we get glimpses of this ‘life in communion’.
Unlike other Christian festivals, Trinity Sunday celebrates a doctrine instead of a figure or an event. The doctrine of the Trinity, which is not present in Scripture, does not have any explanation.
Trinity Sunday teaches us about the oneness of God in his three forms of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
It’s a celebration of faith
Trinity Sunday is the only major Christian festival that celebrates a doctrine instead of a person or an event. It is a complete mystery as to how the Trinity came to be, and why God has appeared to humans in three different forms. Trinity Sunday celebrations call for utmost faith to be shown in the existence of the Trinity.
It’s a celebration of love
The Holy Trinity is believed to always guide people on the right path. By commemorating Trinity Sunday, Christians are given an additional chance to praise and glorify the Trinity.
It’s a celebration of unity
Trinity Sunday calls for unity in every sense of the word. While there are three separate forms of God, the Trinity still symbolizes unity. Moreover, Christians unite all over the world to celebrate the Trinity on Sundays, and not just on Trinity Sunday.