First Sunday After Pentecost - Trinity Sunday
12 June 2022
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Sunday Cycle of Prayer
The Anglican Church of South America
Corpus Christi Church, Okahumpka
Church of Our Saviour, Okeechobee
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Our Trinitarian God loves us and call us to rejoice in fellowship, to dance with God and those
around us. Today is The Feast Day of the Holy Trinity. The only Sunday in the church year in
which we celebrate a church doctrine, what we believe not only about who God was and is and will be, but also about whom God is inviting US to be and become. As a community dancing
with each other and with God, in love.
The Feast Day of the Holy Trinity is also the day when many priests try to find an associate or a deacon or a seminarian to ask them to preach!! The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity is an essential Christian affirmation that God comes to meet us in three different roles. God is Our Creator, the Lord of salvation history, Father and Judge in the Old Testament. God is our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, incarnate from the Father who lived on earth among the people, died a horrific death on the cross to defeat death and bring us salvation. Only to walk on earth as the Risen Christ before ascending into heaven. But not before promising that He would send God, who is our Sustainer, The Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Comforter , who guides each of us and our community, if we listen into the power of new life and new relationship with the God head and with each other.
As you probably remember, neither the word, nor the doctrine, of the Holy Trinity appears in the Bible and yet, we can see the seeds of the Doctrine of The Holy Trinity. The relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were clearly planted across Gods’ Grand Narrative for their relationship existed before the beginnings of creation in Genesis. As God urged “US” to make humankind in the image of God as Lady Wisdom echoed in Proverbs today her creation, God’s first act. In Jesus’s words today to the disciples in John’s Gospel which reminded them of God’s one message embodied by Christ himself, declared by the Holy Spirit
in God’s perfect timing when we are ready.
Trinity in Latin means three in one and was chosen by Tertullian, the Father of Latin Theology, in 3rd century AD to represent the mysterious unity and diversity in God. Later, at the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity was unveiled, God as one being three persons of the same essence; the Father uncreated, the Son begotten of the Father, the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son. Three persons, we remember each week in the Nicene Creed, with the same power and same lifespan from before the beginning of time through all eternity. Understanding what the Trinity is and what the Trinity means for us today is complicated, mysterious, and requires our willingness to ask and live into our questions about God---Who is God?---What does God require of us?---Where is God in the midst of our day to day joys and sorrows?
For as human beings we run the risk of thinking we have found the answer to the mystery of God. But we have to be willing to admit God is always more than we can ever fathom and we are most likely to project our own limited understanding and views on to God. Just like seeing Jesus as a blue eyed, blonde rather than the swarthy Middle Eastern Man he was.
This week reading about the Desert Mothers and Fathers helped me understand a little better about the relationship between and within the Godhead. The radical relationship of love is best understood by the Greek verb, perichoresis which translates as dancing or circling around one another that the Godhead of one in three, three in one lives in a circle of relationship, of dancing with intimacy and fellowship, embracing, permeating and dwelling in each other. Living in unity, yet distinct loving, dynamic, and available to each other. Just as Lady Wisdom in Proverbs reflected today, the Godhead lives in delight of one another, rejoices in one another, and in creation and humanity, a holy community.
And just like the radical relationship of love within the Godhead, God invites us, especially when God comes to live within us at our baptism, God invites us to join with God, limited and human as we are to dance with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a divine-human dance. A dance that invites us to draw near to God in personal relationship and to grow in our compassion and care of other human beings. and to build with God’s help a community of love and harmony with other human beings. A human community which reflects in human ways the radical relationship of love, in the divine Holy Trinity all who have been created in God’s very image and likeness
are invited to be loved as God loves God, in a circle of belonging and love. All of us are invited, all of us belong. The way we experience God as a Trinity of Persons makes a profound difference in how we belong to God and in how we belong to one another. We are distinct and unique individuals but our essence is the same, we need water and food, shelter and rest and we need to belong. Belonging may be the third human need on Maslow’s hierarchy but the need and desire to belong originated in the Holy Trinity, a Trinity of Persons that invites us to be in relationships of love with God, one another, and all God’s creation. The essence of life is for us to be in a human-divine dance with God and a dance of relationship with all our God has created.
As Brother Curtis Almquist, SSJE wrote in a recent sermon, “During these times [of multiple pandemics] we have learned a lot about living in relationship. We have infected and affected one another, some for better and some for worse. We have seen suffering due to the virus, unemployment and financial catastrophe, disruption of education, health care, and church practices, strain among family members. and political differences. And yet we have seen and I hope you have seen in our life together care, kindness, creativity, generosity, and hope. Evidence of our inter-dependence and the need we have for one another. For in whatever ways, big, small or in-between we can support and love one another.” All of us are distinct, unique individuals whom God calls to live in relationship with one another because our essence, like the Holy Trinity is to live in a community of love. God invites us to first receive God’s splendid, self-giving love so we can share God’s love with one another and the world. God as Trinity reminds us that we belong to one another. We need to belong to one another. We are complete and whole only as we do belong to one another, all of us different persons who belong to the One God of all creation.
What breaks my heart and no doubt your hearts is when good people have been duped into believing by cruel or prejudiced others that their political views or skin color or age or education or sexual orientation or cultural or ethnic or religious views keep them away from or push them out of God’s circle of love. The Kingdom which God calls us to, Jesus embodies, and the Holy Spirit guides us to is a broad, wide, and inclusive circle, not a hierarchy of haves and have nots.
The differences we embody as children of God are really evidence of God’s majesty of a rainbow of many deep and rich and vibrant hues to help us magnify God’s richness and mystery. A mystery we will one day be able to see and hear, taste and touch when we enter heaven.
No doubt all of you have heard the phrase when Mama aint’ happy, no one’s happy. Well Mama is only happy as her least happy child. Trinity Sunday reminds us we are a community, a human community, children of God, the family of God and the suffering, loss, and injustice we witness in our world wounds us all to the core because we belong to one another children of a God who models radical relationship and invites us to join in, human as we are. We can only be as happy as the suffering, downtrodden, and oppressed among us,
Today on Trinity Sunday we rejoice in a God whose very being is a community Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who are One in giving and receiving love and we celebrate as a human community. Our call to live into, inviting and proclaiming to others the importance of living and dancing in a circle of mutuality and diversity which is anchored in God’s image and likeness.
And so this week, I wonder whom will you invite to join in our divine-human dance?