Trinity Sunday: Gay Passion of Christ series ends

24. The Trinity (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“The grace of the Sovereign Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” — 2 Corinthians 13:14 (Inclusive Language Lectionary)

An angelic figure blesses two men holding hands in “The Trinity,” the last image of 24 paintings in “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” by Douglas Blanchard. The painting can stand alone to affirm the holiness of gay couples, but it also serves as a meditation on the Christian Trinity: one God in three persons. Churches celebrate the Trinity on Trinity Sunday, which is today (June 3) this year. The trio gathers around a table set with milk, honey, and fruit, references to the Promised Land. The man draped in red reaches toward the viewer, inviting us to join them in the sunny garden. An arch in the background hints at the gate of heaven.

“The Trinity” shows the transformation in Jesus (and the viewer) after experiencing Christ’s Passion. We move from the dark prison of the first painting to a bright land of promise, out of the closet, into the streets, and on to holy bliss. The artist has said that he intended this to be “a little glimpse of salvation, of the reward of the faithful.”

The winged woman in the golden robe is the same Holy Spirit who arrived in the previous painting. Viewers will be forgiven for wondering which man is Jesus. Blanchard, who is so adept at painting individual faces, gives the same face to all three, even the female Holy Spirit. The artist does this on purpose to emphasize the three-in-one nature of God. BOTH men have haloes and marks of crucifixion on their wrists.

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