Trinity Sunday Mulling over what to write for today, after a tough week of lectures and seminars on-line and via Zoom, I reflected that, if a parish has a curate, it often falls to the curate’s lot to preach on Trinity Sunday. I’m not sure I’m any wiser now than I was before – in fact, the more I know, the more I realise I don’t know – and this definitely isn’t a sermon; however, I can try to offer a few ways in to how we think about the Trinity. Firstly, have a look at the picture below. Many of you may recognise it as Rublev’s icon of the Trinity – you may even have seen us use it in church on Trinity Sunday in past years. You’ll notice that there are 3 people around a table, and space for a fourth person. We are invited to imagine ourselves into the picture, which was painted by Rublev in the 1400s. It is a Trinitarian representation of the visit of three angels to Abraham at the Oak of Mamre – we read about this in Genesis 18. Look at the picture. Note that on one level, it depicts the three angels. However, on another level, it represents the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; it’s a visual expression of what the Trinity means. Notice the space at the table. Draw near. Allow yourself to be part of the image. Share in the life of the Three. Take some time, allow yourself to rest in that space. What does the Trinity mean to you? Suddenly all the stories we have thought about and remembered since Advent make sense. At Christmas and Epiphany, we celebrated the human birth of the Son, celebrating the Incarnation as God comes to us in human form. So here, we have God the Father and God the Son. During Lent, we thought about Jesus’s life, as our way, our truth and our life. We thought about the events of Holy Week and Easter Day. Then came Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit, reminding us that God is always present. These stories belong together; there is unity in God. God was present with Jesus. This story is about God offering everyone a chance to right wrongs. Jesus met and worked amongst all those who were considered outcasts at the time. He didn’t ignore them or tell them to go away, he didn’t care about their social status or gender or if they were considered ‘unclean’ in any way. No one is left out of God’s love. God’s love is for everyone. And that can be a stumbling block for us when we think about recent events in America. How can God’s love be for the police officer who murdered George FFloyd, how can God’s love be for the three other policemen who watched on and did nothing? How can God’s love be for those who turned to looting during the subsequent protests? How can God’s love be for all where there has been such injustice and systemic racial intolerance? But God’s love is for all, and it is not our job to judge. It is our job, however, to speak out where there is injustice or racial hatred. To pray. To recognise that there is prejudice and to speak out against it. And we do that through the power of the Holy Spirit. Early Christians began to realise that they were included in the life of God. It was as if the Spirit of God was given for all, to everyone, following the resurrection. Humanity was included in the life of God and in the life of each other. Trinity Sunday offers us a chance to celebrate our own calling to be included in the life of God the Father. How do we do that? Quite simply, through our behaviour. When we act in unity with God, when we are acting in love, we show our inclusion in the life of God. So, speaking out against any injustice; refusing to join in with the barriers of our culture and society, demonstrates our inclusion in the life of God. We are challenged to work in the power of God’s Holy Spirit. We are called to be people of God, and to recognise God at work in the lives of others. This prayer may help in days to come. It’s by Nick Fawcett from his book ‘Reflective Services for Lent, Holy Week and Easter.’ Gracious God, There are some experiences, which we cannot put into words however hard we try – moments of love, joy, awe, hope, beauty and so many more. Yet though these may defy expression, they are no less real; On the contrary, they are often more real and special than any. So it is with our experience of you. Together with your Church across the ages, we strive to articulate our faith, to describe somehow everything you mean to us – your awesome sovereignty, your unfailing care, your intimate closeness, your presence within – yet the language we use seems hopelessly inadequate. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three in one and one in three. It makes no sense according to human logic, yet we know it to be true, not in our minds but in our hearts. And so we rejoice, and acknowledge you as our God in joyful worship, one God, world without end. Amen. With my love and prayers, Anne
— Janet Taylor
Sun, 7 Jun 2020