Trinity Sunday, June 16, 2019

Preacher: 
The Rev. Karla Hunt
Sermon Text: 

Karla Hunt

Romans 5:1-5 and John 16:12-15

Sermon for ASEC on Trinity Sunday 16 Jun 19

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Someone has said that “[t]he mystery of the Trinity”… is not a puzzle to be solved … but “an ocean in which to swim.” So let’s dive in.

I’m going to be using traditional language today because when we speak of the Trinity, we refer to Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but God has both masculine and feminine traits and is the best parent we could imagine.

The Trinity is how we try to explain our experiences of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God the Father Creator can be seen in the beauty of the world around us and the extravagant diversity of plants, animals and peoples.

God the Son is heard through Scripture and the stories of those who walked with him and heard him teach.

God the Holy Spirit is felt in our hearts and minds when we listen to our gut, do what we feel is right or sense the voice of God in discernment.

The Trinity is simply how we acknowledge that we have encountered God in different ways.

There are a couple of illustrations we can use that might help. We have two eyes, distinct one from another yet connected in the one image they transmit to the brain.

Even better is a musical chord. The notes are distinct from one another but when connected in one chord the sound is richer “and more dynamic than had [they] been played individually.

[Each note is] …equally important … [but] the [rich] sound is lacking and thin if one … is left out.”

It’s the connection that creates the full richly complex music and delivers the diversity and beauty of the whole.

So it is with us.

The Trinity is the example the Lord has given us to follow, the connection Father, Son and Holy Spirit have with each other that we are also to have with each other.

Richard Rohr has said “perhaps the greatest disease facing humanity right now is our profound and painful sense of disconnection.”

We can see that all around us in the world today.

Another has said that we lack “the investment each one [of us] makes in a common us, larger than the challenges and troubles of any single [individual].”

Ten days ago, the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, marking the turning point in World War II, when more than 150,000 soldiers charged a fortified beach where many lost their lives.

“Seventy-five years ago, that investment, that connectedness” made it possible for many to set aside their personal wellbeing to focus on the common good.

In the words of one speaker, “They pulled together and believed in something more important to them than their own lives. And so, they were bound to one another, connected … in ways …difficult to imagine” today.

But the good news is that “[h]umans become like the God we worship” so our feeling of disconnection is not real.

“Trinity is all about relationship and connection, … embedded as the code”, the software if you will, “in everything that exists.

If there is only one God and if there is one pattern to this God, then we can expect to find this same pattern everywhere….” and we do.

There is unending, extravagantly wasteful “diversity in creation” that makes it “clear that God is not at all committed to uniformity but instead desires unity. … spiritual unity is that very diversity embraced and protected by an infinitely generous love.”

Exactly like Jesus did in his ministry; crossing over into other cultures and peoples embracing their diversity with love in the process.

When we do the same, when we share fellowship with those who are not like us, we become more like Christ and enjoy a reality that is both richer and fuller than what we have alone and individually.

 

Trinity is the example that humans are to follow: many becoming one, unity but not uniformity.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit show us how different tribes, clans, peoples, and languages can become one body in Christ.

As the three are one so all the peoples of the earth are one.

In the words of our baptismal covenant, the “dignity of every human being” is the dignity of the Divine who resides in each one of us and in the full diversity of Creation.

Thanks be to God!

 

Bibliography

The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary, Volume VIII: Luke, John; Volume IX: Acts, Introduction to Epistolary Literature, Romans, 1 &2 Corinthians, Galatians; edited by Leander E. Keck et al, Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN, copyright 2002.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, edited by Bruce M. Metzger and Roland E. Murphy, New Revised Standard Version, New York, Oxford University Press, copyright 1991.

The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Raymond E. Brown, S.S.; Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. (emeritus); and Roland E. Murphy, O.Carm. (emeritus), with a foreword by His Eminence Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini, S.J.; Prentice Hall, copyright 1990, 1968.

HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, Paul J. Achetemeier, General Editor, With the Society of Biblical Literature, HarperOne: An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, copyright 1985, 1996.

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, 5 June; 7 June; 17 June 2019

http://www.churchyear.net/trinitysunday.html accessed 5 Jun 2019

http://www.ancient-future.net/nicene.html accessed 5 Jun 2019

Leonard Pitts, D-Day 75 Years Later: What would you give to save your world?, published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6 June 2019.

 

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