Sermon for Trinity Sunday - June 11 2017

Sermon for Trinity Sunday, Year A
June 11, 2017
The Rev. Evelyn Wheeler, Rector

Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Psalm 8; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20

Worship, doubt, and a little faith.  Very normal and everyday, isn’t it?

One of the nifty things about Jesus is that he doesn’t condemn doubt.  He knows we doubt; he knows that’s a normal thing.  How could it not be?  After all, how unlikely is the story; how unlikely the good news; how unlikely the kingdom of God?

Because we’re a mess; and the world is a mess; and we know it.

Yet into the midst of this messiness, God has come.

Now of course, the Book of Genesis tells us that the creation is good.  Light and dark are good, water and land are good, all living things are good, and the human being is good. 

And then, our sentience, our knowledge expanded beyond our abilities, and, well, you know…  We may know the difference between good and evil, but we don’t always know what good to choose, or which evil to avoid, and that’s the sad fact.

But not all is lost.  God has come because God created all this from love, and love must love, must give, must empty itself for the good of the object of love.

And because Jesus has told us that we, too, are a part of that giving and loving and emptying, because of the grace of God, and this means that we, too must love, must give, must empty ourselves for the good of one another and for the good of this world that is so precious and beloved of God.

Jesus told the disciples that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to” him, but he conveys that authority to us who follow him.  Earlier in the gospel of Matthew, he healed and proclaimed that the kingdom of God was come near; and he taught, through the sermon on the mount, through parables, and through questions and answers, what the kingdom of God is like.  Then, he sent the disciples out with authority to heal and to proclaim the kingdom; but now, now, he sends them out to teach and to make disciples, and to baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity.

Finally, we have the authority to do this, with a power and an authority conveyed through the Holy Spirit – not only to heal, not only to proclaim, but to teach and to form followers of the self-giving, greatly loving community of God.

From the start, even in Genesis, God is relational – the whole point of creation as presented in that story is to make humanity in the image of God, so that God and humanity can be in relation to one another, even as God the Father is in relationship with the Son, and the Son with the Father, and the Father and the Son with the Spirit, and the Spirit with the Father and the Son. 

It is a mystery, a puzzle, a conundrum, this relationship – but it is what love is and what love does.

Augustine of Hippo, someone said, described the Trinity as a tree: The root is made of wood, the trunk is wood, the branches are wood – all are wood, but it takes all three to make the tree; each with their own function, but each depending on and supporting the others.

As metaphors go, it’s no better than most – that is, it’s a weak approximation, for a tree does not, as far as we know, love; and while it certainly can grow, it can also die. 

Most of us when we try to define God, whether in Trinity or no, if we are serious about the exercise, eventually come to the conclusion we cannot actually do that. 

So we are left with worship, and a little faith, and some doubt.

And that’s okay. 

Because that’s what being human in relationship with God is.

And that’s okay.

For God loves us as we are – and, as has been said, loves us enough to not leave us there, but calls us to look up, to bless, to give thanks, and to love, and to trust that in the end, God wills our good, just as at the beginning, so at the end.

So, put things in order; agree with one another; live in peace – and the God of love and peace will be with you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit … are with all of you … always.

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