Scripture for Trinity Sunday: Proverbs 8.1-4,22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5.1-5; John 16.12-15
Trinity Sunday occurring at the end of May – an anniversary of some sort! Three years ago I stood before the congregation of Santa Margarita and set myself the task of introduction to a new congregation and reflection upon the Trinity.
Anniversaries remind us of the passage of time, which can be an opportunity to celebrate accomplishments, a time to grieve what has been lost, or a depressing reminder of how little progress humanity seems to make. In any community – in any congregation – the passage of time is usually marked by a blend of all three.
Nevertheless, this congregation of Santa Margarita can celebrate its continued development and work in the interest of furthering Christian ministry as a community of faith.
What we do as a church – what any church does, really – is done in the context of a Trinitarian faith. It is quite easy to make the concept of “Trinity” complicated. The word Trinity does not in fact appear in the Bible, and the early church spent over 100 years trying to define – often heatedly – what it meant through the work of several Councils of the whole church.
In essence, the trinity is about three aspects of faith:
- first, recognising the creative force that produced our world and our life as a part of a much greater universe;
- secondly, about recognising the privileged place that humanity has in the creation, and the potential to be fully human as disclosed in the life of Jesus;
- and thirdly, about understanding that we are at heart all spiritual beings, however we channel that part of our nature, and and we seek, consciously or subconsciously, to discern and follow the guidance of the Spirit within us.
All is framed by the nature of the relationships that we have with one another and with God in Spirit: relationships rooted in life, that can transcend even death.
Today’s reading from Proverbs, about the indiscriminate gift of wisdom to humankind, and the Psalm accentuate the way in which God relates to humanity through the expectation of partnership in accomplishing God’s purpose. This is paraphrased in Pope Francis’ words on prayer:
“You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. That’s how prayer works.”
God, and God’s universe, are relational, and we are meant to be social, communal beings, working together to strive for the implementation of Jesus’ teaching and demonstration of justice and peace.
In particular, as Christians, we are called to focus especially on incarnation, through which we see the divine Spirit as a creative force, present in physical form in humanity, demonstrated in ideal form in Jesus: the divine Spirit, at work through its presence in humanity, who are called to follow the model and lead of Jesus in working to make our prayers and our lives a channel for God’s grace to work in the world.
In this way, the divine Spirit works in and through humanity to accomplish the purpose of the divine Creator. That’s Trinity.