Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Hazardous material, or Hazmat, is a commonplace in our lives. Whether it is a can of hairspray, or a tank of gasoline, we are surrounded by Hazmat. When loading trailers, Hazmat can sometimes become quite an issue. It can be difficult at times to remember which Hazmat items are safe to ship with other freight. It can be further complicated when attempting to load more than one class of Hazmat in a given load. Sometimes it is not big issue, such as Flammable Gas and Non-Flammable Gas. However there are other materials that can be quite complicated, especially when dealing with corrosives. Indeed, I have encountered times in which two items may be of the same general hazard class, but they are otherwise incompatible. Now what?
As complicated as the can be at times, it becomes even more complex when you have one item, such as a fifty five gallon steel or plastic drum, and the thing has three different hazard classes. How do you contend with an item that is a Flammable Liquid, Oxidizer, and Corrosive? I prefer to keep it as far from food as possible. Typically, there is a good chance that I would need three placards, one for each hazard class on each side of the trailer. Thankfully, these situations are rare for me. However, this is interesting, three hazard classes in one piece of freight.
The Christian church is typically trinitarian. That is to say we believe in what is commonly called “The Trinity”. This is the belief that there is one God, but there are three persons in the Godhead. That is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This belief is espoused in what is referred to as the Athanasian Creed. This creed is common used on Trinity Sunday, which happens to be this Sunday in which this is being written, and is the longest of the three majority creeds. It is also the one that deals most adequately with the doctrine of the Trinity.
Some may balk at the idea of the Trinity. That is understandable. However, a careful reading of the first chapter of the Gospel of John should remove almost all doubt. John chapter one, starting at verse one, reads “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God”. Skip down to verse fourteen, and it reads “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us”.
Let that sink in for a second. The very God who in Genesis created the heavens and the earth is the self same God who was also the word of God and became flesh. This very God is also our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Let that also sing in for a second. The Bible testifies very clearly to this. Indeed, before his ascension, Jesus told the disciples to “baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”. Thus, our very Lord affirmed the doctrine of the Trinity long before the first creed was ever penned. Indeed, he did go on to say “teaching them to obey all I have commanded you”. However, in stating whom are baptized in the name of, he firmly states in no uncertain terms the Trinity. There is no possible way that Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, could have been mistaken. If the Trinity was not an absolute fact, certainly Jesus would have said something and not given the commandment that he did.
The Trinity is our assurance of Salvation. God the Father, creator of all that is. God the Son, who died upon the cross for our sins. God the Holy Spirit, by whom we are sealed unto the resurrection. If this is not true, then are faith is in vain. Yet, our very Lord has affirmed the Trinity and thus it must be so.
Having three hazard classes in a single piece of freight is a triple threat. Its not something that I would want to contend with very often. Having three persons in the Godhead is a triple treat, its our very assurance that God has contended with and taken care of our sins. Certainly we still struggle daily with our sinful natures. However, when we sin, we have an advocate, the second person of the Trinity, to turn to and ask for forgiveness of our sins. May this assurance remain central to our Christian faith.
The Trinity is no great mystery, save that we allow it be such. No. The the Trinity is seen clearly even in the common place, such as three leaf clovers and hazardous material. There is nothing that can change this. The only thing that can change, and might need changing, is our attitude and view of the Trinity. Instead of seeing as a great mystery, look upon it as being the full power of God revealed before sinful humans. Hazardous material is common place. So too is the power of God, we just need to acknowledge it. May God grant us the faith and understanding to do so.