(Jesus said) “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:12–13a (NRSV)
A killer tornado struck Oklahoma this week. A number of people lost their lives, including children, who died when their school collapsed on them. When a tragedy happens, especially one in which children are involved, people want to know why. As a pastor I have been asked many questions. Is there a heaven and what will it be like? Why is there suffering in the world? How can Jesus be both a man and God? Etc. As a people who are raised in a culture that emphasized Greek logic we want logical answers to our questions. We don’t like mystery and we don’t like the unknown. Jesus was a Jew and Jews had no problem with mystery and accepting as true what did not make sense to those raised in the Greek culture. To a Jewish mind, to say that Jesus was both human and divine was not a problem. But the Greeks really struggled with this. Jesus had to be one or the other but could not be both. It just wasn’t logical. Jesus reminds his disciples that they could not bear all the things he had to say to them. In other words they could not understand all Jesus teachings. The disciples had no problem with that, but we want to understand everything. I am writing about this because this coming Sunday we will be celebrating Trinity Sunday. Scholars have been trying for centauries to explain the doctrine of the Trinity that God is one in three and three in one. Many illustrations have been set forth to help us understand. But I sometimes wonder if we simply should accept the Trinity as a mystery and leave it at that. Maybe, sometime in the future, we might be able to understand it. When asked a question, especially about suffering, I have come to accept the fact that I do not have all the answers. Why some suffer is a mystery. People need to search, pray, study and finally come up with their own answers to suffering. But as we explore the mysteries of life Jesus has promised to send the Holy Spirit that will help us in our searching.