Sermon podcast: Trinity Sunday10 Jun 2019 By Sermon Podcasts
Ruth Walker, Director of the Calling Young Disciples Project, 16 June 2019.
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I would like to begin with the words of the alternative Collect for today, Trinity Sunday:
Holy God, faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mysteries of your love,
that we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever. Amen
Today we are especially given the opportunity to ‘enlarge our minds’, to take another step into understanding a bit more our ‘Holy, faithful and unchanging’ God as he reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Why? So that we may more truly worship our amazing God
From the earliest days of the Christian Church there have been many attempts to do just that, to understand more of the nature of our God. The creeds we have inherited are just one of the ways earlier Christians have wrestled with capturing truths about God that we can proclaim out loud and believe in our hearts. If you have a copy of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) I would like to suggest that you read the Athanasian Creed (you’ll find it just after Morning Prayer). Take a few lines at a time and chew them over, even a section of this creed reminds us of how amazing our God is and yet He chooses to reveal himself to us. It reminds us too of how little we understand our ‘Holy, faithful and unchanging’ God.
In more recent years there have comparisons drawn with such things as:
- The three-leafed clover where each leaf on the plant appears whole and independent but actually they are indivisibly part of a single stem. Illustrating the distinction of the persons of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and yet part of the one God.
- Another illustration uses ice, water and steam. Three very different ways that we experience water, ‘H 20’ and yet all are chemically the same.
Throughout our lives as Christians we will have occasions when we experience God at work in a way that feels more like one of the persons of the Holy Trinity and yet we know in our minds that all three persons were involved. As you stand amazed at the creation around you, the sheer variety of colours, the immensity of the snow- capped mountains, the power of the sea and the perfection of the tiniest shell you have found on the beach. At those moments we are drawn in amazement to the one who is Creator, our Father God.
Another time, consumed by the guilt we feel over what we have done or the task we have avoided we come seeking forgiveness and in that moment discover the deep, loving and powerful forgiveness of our Saviour, God the Son, Jesus Christ. The one who through his suffering on a cross sets us free.
And yet, on another occasion we know without a doubt the power of God the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. Extraordinary love that is drawn out of us for another, an empowering, way beyond our confidence, to share our story of faith or a moment in worship when our spirit seems to be lifted closer to heaven.
However in each of these profoundly important moments we still know that what we have experienced of God at that moment is still just a very small part of the One who has from all eternity been Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The one who said:
‘Let us make humankind in our likeness…’ So God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Gen 1 v 26 - 27
As I have come seeking that challenge prayed in the Collect: to have my mind ‘enlarged with the knowledge’ of God’s truth and to be ‘drawn more deeply into the mystery’ of God’s love that I might ‘truly worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. What I am left with so powerfully is sheer amazement that God wanted to create me in His likeness, that He loves me and wants to have a relationship with me. So much so that He gave His Son, Jesus Christ to make that possible and that I might be assured of that again and again He has given me the Holy Spirit, His Spirit to dwell in me. That is our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit the One who has given everything to have a relationship with us and longs for us to respond to that love by loving him ourselves even though our love will never match His and our understanding of Him will always full short.
- Pray that Collect and then reflect on God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- What today amazes you and draws you to worship Him?
- How about looking at the Athanasian Creed and over the next week take a section and mull it over asking God to enlarge your mind, your thinking about Him?