There is much to unpack in today’s lessons. I was on a zoom call mid-May with other deacons. We found that most of us were preaching today, Trinity Sunday. We laughed because it’s ‘normal’ for deacons to preach this Sunday and, laughingly wondered why priests didn’t want to preach about the Trinity. Could it be that the mystery of the Trinity cannot be adequately or absolutely defined? (Tom did offer.) In proclaiming this Trinity Sunday, we are called to look at the very foundation of our faith in our triune God. Nobody has a true picture of God, or the Holy Spirit and we don’t have an actual picture of Jesus either so whatever we imagine God to look like comes from our faith and imagination. My favorite ‘picture’ of the Trinitarian God is on the front of today’s bulletin. It’s Rublev’s Trinity Icon. We also have this icon in the Holy Spirit Chapel.
We also don’t have factual words to describe God as our Triune God is far outside our words and imaginations. Let’s think about the Trinity as an example of community because what we celebrate at the core of today’s readings are relationships.
In the beginning there was a formless void and darkness until God spoke and a wind swept over the waters. In the 26th verse of the creation story we heard God speak of God as WE. God said let US create humankind in OUR image. God didn’t say let me or in my image. There’s a mystery to God as God creates. God spoke of the wind in Genesis and this is the same breath Jesus breathed when he breathed on the disciples and from that breath came the Holy Spirit to surround us. We heard God as creator, word and breath and the entire universe created by these things. God created humankind to be in relationship with God, creation, and one another. We are still very much a work in progress and God continues to create.
Paul gives us a clear example when talking to the Corinthians who were torn apart by conflict. Be reconciled he says to them. He reminds them to greet each other with a holy kiss. This isn’t a normal kiss we might give to someone we love. This is a kiss to someone with whom we don’t agree. To give someone a holy kiss is to acknowledge that we are one in God. We are equal and our purpose is to serve God. If we really look into another’s eye’s we will see the Spirit of God in them. This can take a lot of work and a lot of patience.
Trinity Sunday brings us to the end of a whirlwind of church seasons. We begin the church year in Advent looking forward to Jesus’ birth and now we’ve witnessed the life of Jesus through his birth, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. The liturgical dance, the drama, so to speak has come to a stopping point. I almost said end except the drama of God never ends, does it.
Next week we begin what is called Ordinary time. We can slow down, hopefully, and enjoy creation all around us. We can reconnect with our Genesis reading and really look at what God’s creation says to us. We can see the beauty and see how we can help keep it beautiful. After all, God gave humankind dominion over this wonderful creation and:
“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good”
We are blessed with good weather, and we can truly see and be thankful for God’s beauty. We can open our windows, take a walk in the warmth of spring days.
As you feel the beauty around you why not spend time thinking about how faith shapes your life. Spend some time thinking about what you are doing to further God’s Kingdom.
Matthew’s Gospel, part of which we just heard is one of my favorites.
According to Matthew Jesus begins his earthly ministry with Baptism, went immediately up a mountain and was tempted. His earthly ministry ends on a mountain as well. Today we heard the end of Matthew’s gospel when the Resurrected Jesus tells them to Go. Power has been given them to do God’s work in all places. Preach, heal, teach.
The faithful 11 disciples who had witnessed the resurrection go to the mountain to see Jesus. Some still had doubts! This is shortly after the resurrection, and they’ve been with the risen Jesus. How can they have doubts? How could they not have doubts? To doubt is human and Jesus understands humanity and its foibles. Jesus didn’t send the doubters away. Instead, he tells them,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
That’s a powerful statement. All authority, everywhere. And Jesus continues with what is called The Great Commission. He tells the 11, some who have doubts, some who said just a few days prior they didn’t know him:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.
Can you hear the disciples saying: ‘who me’? go where? But, but, but …… Jesus is telling them it’s time to go and do the work he has given them to do. Help others see what Jesus was all about. Teach them how to live in a new way, a way of love. Baptize them. Go, make, baptize, teach, obey, command. So many verbs, such action Jesus asks of them. And, one more verb: Remember.
Jesus powerful promise to the disciples:
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
And just as Jesus sent those 11, Jesus sends us. We are baptized Christians, baptized into the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
And, Remember, just as Jesus was with them, Jesus is with us. We are here in this place and time to share with others this wonderful, remarkable story of our faith. Anytime we tell someone about our faith we are carrying out the mission Jesus gave us. Every time we do something to show the love of God in our lives, we are carrying out the mission Jesus gave us. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in this broken world and if we don’t share the story, who will?