June 4, 2023
Holy Trinity Sunday
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Dear fellow ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ,
grace and peace to you
from the one who is one in three and three in one. Amen
Today is Holy Trinity Sunday,
it’s a festival that has been kept since the tenth century (Gail Ramshaw, Sundays and Seasons)
on the first Sunday after Pentecost
as a special celebration of the mystery of the triune God.
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is just that,
a set of beliefs held and taught by the Church,
the word trinity does not appear in the Bible,
though we do hear references to what became the trinitarian formula
- father, son, and holy spirit-
as we did in our readings for this morning,
but just what this means
and how this works
has been debated throughout the centuries
and many people labeled heretics
for their specific take on how to explain the trinity.
Which makes sense
the how of the trinity
is at its heart a mystery,
because the idea of the trinity was not born out of logic
but out of experience,
our experience of God has come in three forms
, described as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
or Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
or Lover, Beloved, and Love,
we experience them each as distinct
and yet also inextricably part of one whole,
and here I am getting close to trying to explain a mystery
and if I go any further
will probably commit at least one heresy if not more than one.
but not being able to explain the how of something
does not negate the truth of what it is,
and what the trinity is,
what we humans have experienced over the millennia
is a unified and yet diverse God,
a God that is a community within Godself
who created the world to be as interconnected as its creator.
We heard the first creation story this morning
how the breath of God swept over the waters of chaos
and God spoke light into being
and separated the light from the dark
the day from the night,
and from there we heard how each step,
each next day of creation built on the last,
separating waters and land
filling both with plants and creatures
the heavens with Sun, Moon and stars
And finally God created humans,
in the divine image
- the divine image resulted in a variety of humans-
and God told the humans to care for the creation.
and it was all very good.
And God rested.
Any creation reflects its creator,
and our heavens and earth are so intricate and intertwined
that even with the scientific method and advanced technology
all made by God given brains,
we are still discovering just how interconnected we are,
how the good or ill of one little thing
has an impact on the rest.
And so we marvel with the psalmist,
O Lord our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!—…
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
what are mere mortals that you should be mindful of them,
human beings that you should care for them?
What are mere mortals that you should be mindful of them?
the psalmist alludes to what we know deep within us,
whether we admit it or not,
that as mortals we will mess up.
We will make mistakes,
we will intentionally put ourselves first
and in the process harm creation and one another.
we know deep within ourselves
our failings and frailties
we know we are not God
Yet you have made them little less than divine;
with glory and honor you crown them.
You have made them rule over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet:
We are imperfect and God has entrusted us with a great responsibility
It’s mind boggling when we think about it,
we wonder why God did you entrust all this to us
when you knew of our capability to mess things up,
something we quickly proved adept at?
God created us because the creation needed us,
we are a part of the interconnected community of creation,
a creation which God continues to care for
and God knew that because we are humans we needed help,
we needed Jesus,
one who was flesh and blood,
who lived as we lived
and shared the experience of life on earth
and at the same time is the image of the invisible God.
If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the father
Jesus tells the disciples in the gospel of John,
and then the disciples witness Jesus go to the cross,
for the sake of the whole world,
and they witness him risen on the third day
overcoming the greatest break in relationships in the world,
Jesus rises again
promises that with him there forgiveness and new life
for all the times we break relationships,
whether it is our relationship with one another
or our relationship with the rest of creation.
We are human,
and God cares so much for us
that God, Jesus,
died for us,
and promises to be with us.
We heard that promise from Jesus in our gospel for today,
the end of Matthew’s gospel
where Jesus is preparing to return to the Father
but before he goes
he reminds them that all authority in heaven and earth
has been given to him,
and then he uses that authority
to send the disciples out to care for the world,
by baptizing in Jesus’ name
and teaching the world
everything Jesus taught them,
and he knows that sounds like a daunting task,
so he ends with a promise
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus is with us,
in the places he promised to be:
Water, Word, Bread and Wine,
and in other places in life,
times where we feel the presence of God,
or more often times when we look back at events
and realize that God was at work in this way or that,
that the spirit of God was there
even when we didn’t realize it.
We experience God as creator,
God as Jesus the savior,
God as Spirit who accompanies us,
all different forms,
They say it takes a community to raise a child,
the same goes for humanity I think,
it takes a community to raise humanity,
a community within God’s very self,
Perhaps this is the wisdom of celebrating
the diverse unity of God
the week after Pentecost,
the day when God affirmed that the community
who gathers to follow Jesus
needs a wide variety of peoples,
that it is good that there are people
from all around the world
who now hear and understand the good news of Jesus
in their own language,
through their own understanding of the world.
We are interconnected,
Made in the image of God
We need one another
We need God
God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit,
Parent, child, Love.
Lord our Lord,
how majestic are your names in all the earth. Amen