A Drop in a Massive, Mysterious Sea
Psalm for Trinity Sunday (Year C)
When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars that You have established; what are human beings that You are mindful of them, mortals that You care for them?
Today is Trinity Sunday. It is the day on the church calendar in which we as Christians try to tackle the mystery and the beauty of the Trinity. It's daunting. It's like a physics professor trying to convey quantum mechanics in a hour. I'm sure it can be done, but it's a challenge.
The psalm for today seems to sidestep the issue. The Trinity, for obvious reasons, was not on the radar of those who wrote the Hebrew Bible. Yet I think that those who put together the Lectionary could not have picked a better passage for this day. The crux of this song considers humanity in the vastness of the psalmist's known world and they ask God, "Why do you care about we who are so small?" I identify with that. I look at the moon and the stars and consider bewildering theological concepts like the Trinity and I feel small.
I wonder how small the psalmist would have felt today. The writer considered the moon and the stars and wondered why God would care for humans. Now we know that we are far more microscopic than the psalmist could have ever imagined. Take this video that examines the size of earth in comparison to the rest of the universe (I found the music a bit annoying so you might want to turn it down):
We are so ridiculously, infinitesimally tiny in this universe. Our planet looks like a marble compared to our sun; a speck compared to other stars. This video considers just the known universe. There is more out there! Then consider that you and I are just blips on this pale blue dot. What are human beings that God would even give us a second thought? Who are we that a God who is beyond this infinite expanse of space would even care for us?
Then I consider the power, the majesty, and the mystery of God. Creation. Incarnation. The Trinity. How something that is so important to my life is One who still feels so far away. My Dad is fond of saying that if we had everything about God figured out then God would be too small to be God. Trinity Sunday reminds me of that reality. I consider the mystery of God and I ask: What are simple human beings that a being so complex and so far beyond our understanding, would want to be in relationship with us? Comparatively speaking, it would be like me treating a rock like I treat my sons.
You and I are so small. We are drops in this massive, mysterious sea. The ocean waves churn and we are tossed about and it sometimes feels like we could not matter less. But the psalmist does not stop at that question. This God, so grand and so far beyond us, cares about us deeply. This God gives us responsibility to take care of our tiny corner of the universe because this speck matters to God immensely.
It boggles the mind how simple and small we are and yet God still loves us deeply. My favorite image of the Trinity was told to me by Dr. John Shelley in my Basic Christian Theology class at Furman. Jumping off the idea of perichoresis, he described the Trinity as a dance. God Creator, Son, and Spirit whirling in a blur that you could not tell where one ended and the other began. They were three but they were one. And this was the key point that Dr. Shelley wanted to convey to us. God was inviting us to join the dance. Us. Small. Insignificant. Simple. God wants us to join in this mysterious, massive dance of redemption.
Forgive my simplicity, but that is really cool.