Unity in Diversity


The doctrine of the Trinity, God’s manifestation in what our creeds call three persons, is both a statement of the mystery that in diversity there is unity and a cause for praise and thanksgiving. Let me explain:

Every now and then my wife tells me that the older I get, the more I become like my father. That always leaves me feeling a little nonplused. When I tell her that she gets more and more like her mother, she cries. But it is true, I do get more and more like my father, who died in l976.

One day in l978, I was walking down Bedford Street and caught a reflection of myself in one of the windows in a retail shop. “Good grief,” I thought. “There is my father.” In the reflection I saw a man with my father’s gait, his slouch, his angle of head and shoulder. The fact that I was wearing one of his twenty-year-old jackets added to the effect. “I look just like my father!” I said to myself. It was really weird. But it was true. The essence of my father had carried through to me.

At home in dealing with my two sons, I find that those things which drive me nuts, such as the inability to give a straight answer, are the very characteristics that added to my father’s grey hairs.

Two months ago, my cousin gave me a picture, taken around the turn of the century, of my grandfather, the Methodist minister. Honest to Pete, I look just like him. There is the same stance, the same build, the same stupid expression. He even held the Bible the same way I hold the Prayer Book! In a funny way I feel proud of the fact that my father continues in me, and my grandfather is here with me.

Now the point of the above is this: If the essence of my grandfather and my father is able to be right here, right now with me, is it so unbelievable that the essence of Jesus Christ, which we call the Holy Spirit, is right here now, shaping and influencing your life and mine? Is there not unity in diversity? Isn’t that kind of neat? Isn’t it great that throughout the annals of time there is an essence that is eternally present with us. We are not alone, forgotten, or abandoned!

Our unity in diversity of course transcends genetic lines. As Christians, we are baptized by the power of the Holy Spirit into a new family. That presence of the Holy Spirit continues shaping our life in the love, toil, and lives we share and celebrate with one another. The doctrine of the Trinity, then, reminds us that there is unity in diversity and that our lives are blessed by the presence of God as creator, redeemer, and sustainer.

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” (Doxology) Amen.