Archives: Trinity

God’s Kiss is Fire

We began church this morning in our opening hymn with three simple words: Holy, holy, holy.

We sang “Holy” three times for two reasons.

First, because the holiness of God is so great that we need to say it three times to express it.

And second, because we are calling on the three persons of the Trinity to be in our midst: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Today is Trinity Sunday, the day we reflect on the multiplication of holiness that is our Triune God.

Holy, holy, holy. These are the words that begin the Sanctus, a Latin word which means Holy and is the name of the part of the service that comes right at the beginning of the Holy Eucharist.

First comes the Sursum Corda, the Latin words for “Lift up your heart.”

Each week as your priests, Father Davies and I call on you to lift up your hearts in praise to God, and you tell us that it is a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere.

Our celebration of Holy Eucharist begins with a dialogue about the goodness of God.

This is not a coincidence. Continue reading

The Invisible Mysteries of Joy

Lucinda, member at St. Luke’s, has a Facebook meme that she shares every year this week that cracks me up every time. It shows Boromir from Lord of the Rings leaning on a sword facing into the wind, looking very dramatic. And it says, “Brace yourselves. Sermons attempting to explain the Holy Trinity are coming.”

It’s true. The sermon this week is always a borderline futile effort.

It’s Trinity Sunday, and how do we talk about the Holy Trinity without immediately getting bogged down in trite clichés and unsatisfying mathematical analogies?

Well, we’re going to skip over all those vain attempts at explanation and go straight to the futility, because it is actually that very futility that I want to talk about.

Now, part of the reason I love St. Luke’s/St. Thomas is because you are perfectly comfortable with your priest standing in the pulpit and saying, “I have no idea what I’m talking about.”

You allow me that honesty, and echo it with honesty of your own.

Because I would far rather be with you in our common lack of understanding of the mystery of God, than by myself up here with some kind of high-and-mighty fancy theological explanation that is really a cover for my own ignorance and fear.

And that gets us to the heart of the problem, doesn’t it?

We as human beings are addicted to certainty.

We will tolerate almost any kind of nonsense as long as we get to say to someone else, “I know the truth,” or even better, “I’m right and you’re wrong.”. Continue reading

God’s Losing Bet

God is a reckless romantic, driven by love to the point of poor decision-making.

That is what is revealed to us by the actions of the Trinity in creation, which we read today.

Far from a dry and repetitive etiology, the first two chapters of Genesis are a shockingly intimate portrait of the inner nature of God.

Through this outpouring of creativity, in the midst of this transcendently powerful generation of new life, we see the most hidden and intimate desire of God—to share God’s love through every atom of creation.

Creation is the work of the Word in the largest sense, the trees and the sky and the waters and us all spoken into existence on the breath of the Spirit from the mouth of God, for which Jesus will live and die and live again.

The nature of Trinity Sunday encourages us to think and talk about big, beautiful theological concepts, ideas that are too large for our minds but somehow fill our hearts with energy and light.

We are invited to dwell in the mystery of God, marveling at how God reveals Godself to us and longing for the day when we leave this earthly life and finish looking through a glass darkly, finally seeing God face to face.

But what does it all mean practically?

How can the theological doctrines of our faith, the ideas about God that are a hard-won mix of gut-level instinct about God and carefully worked-out intellectual exploration of God, help us to live better and deeper Christian lives? Continue reading