Tragedy and the Trinity

This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday. It is a time to reflect on that which is the foundation and background of everything we believe in as followers of Christ. The God revealed to us in Scripture is one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We call this the Trinity. The reality of what the Trinity means has immense consequences for us, made in the image of God. The bible reveals to us that from all eternity, we see in the triune God the mutual expression of love, humility, and delight. This means that love, servanthood, and living for others is a primary source of happiness and delight. It is the Godhead. We intuitively know this. If God were simply unipersonal, he could create as an option but power would have been his first characteristic. Instead as a triune God, we see that love and mutual self giving is his first characteristic and we are made in that image.

I have had a chance to process through this over the past 10 days of a tragic family event. With the unfortunate  and violent death of Graham Fontes, our son-in-law, we now have a daughter who is a widow with three young children. There are many questions surrounding his death. We will never have all the answers. We loved Graham deeply and are thankful for his life. He wanted to love our daughter better. He put his faith in Christ but still suffered emotional and psychological wounds. He served and he loved, but there were control and expectation issues.

As I reflect on what it means to be created in the image of God, knowing that God is one God in three persons with an eternal love and community, I see in my own life, mirrored upon the reflection of this recent tragedy, how far short I fall in loving and sacrificially serving others. There will be a lot more questions than answers to this event. But like all things in life, the beauty that can come out of these ashes is the self-examination of my own heart where I think of myself more than others. Could I have seen his pain? This untimely death was a shock to everyone from his employer, the Omni Hotel, to his close friends and family.

There will be more time, by God’s grace, for process and reflection. But, Claudia and our family want to express our thanks and appreciation to you, the ASD family, for all your love and support. We are grateful to be home and after another memorial service in San Antonio on Saturday, we will be with you this Trinity Sunday, June 11th.

Faithfully,

+Philip