Triune Mystery

This can be heard here


Gate Pa Trinity Sunday 2015
Readings:
Psalm:                                     Psalm 29        
First Reading:                         Isaiah 6:1-8
Second Reading:                    Rom 8:12-17                          
Gospel:                                    John 3:1-17                             

What I want to say:
To explore the doctrine of the trinity as something that leads us to God as multidimensional, ultimately mysterious, who invites us through the relationship within the Trinity to live by different principles.

What I want to happen:
people to contemplate the mystery of God, three in one, and to be more immersed in the life that exists within this mystery

The Sermon

1.      Introduction:

today is Trinity Sunday
# (talk to you neighbours about how you understand the Trinity)
# plenary
day once again we stop take note
            central piece Christianity
            God is three and one
which of course makes absolutely no sense whatsoever
arose because we believe that Jesus is fully human and fully divine
if we were honest also doesn’t make a lot of sense
some of you are wondering
why bother with all this anyway?
so hard and difficult
what difference does it make –
for a starter
      These two pieces of theology that mark us Christians out from our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters.
      kind of important
lets spend moment remind ourselves of what it all is.

2.      300

most what believe about Trinity came together in 300’s
            – century of turmoil and brutal debate about the nature of Son
                        then became about how we understand Trinity
                        saw writing Apostles creed and Nicene creed
                        number of others – now rejected
In a nutshell then
Jesus – the Son, is both fully human and fully divine.
            one person – 2 natures
God is three persons – one nature
tease that out means - God is one
            Bible is clear about that
            hold that with Islam and Judaism
Also say God is 3
hold all together with
            God is three persons but one nature or essence
what on earth does that mean?
first things note
not God comes in three different ways
but is 3 “persons”
why      - gospels in particular
            Jesus sent by father – implies two “persons”
            returns to father
            father says – this is my beloved son
            Spirit proceeds from Father
person not mean separate people as we use term
person then is three separate “I’s”
to use traditional language
Father refers to Himself as “I” and Son and Spirit as “you”
Son too refers to Himself as “I” and Father and Spirit as “you”
Spirit too refers to Herself as “I” and Father and Son as “you”.
Each person in Trinity has ability for distinctive thought, initiative, compassion, love and action  
            Holy Spirit is not just a force at work in world doing God’s bidding
Three Gods then?
Listen to some Christians yes
still hold to one God
God is three persons but one essence
not three persons as you and I are separate persons
            where we get into trouble
But One God of  one essence
three “I’s” with one indivisible essence
nor like three chunks of pie which all together make God
God is one
God is found and experienced fully in each person of the Trinity
when one person of the Trinity acts, then all 3 persons act
            explore
to experience one is to experience all three persons
so we know nature God the Father and the Spirit through life Jesus the Son
we know nature God the Father and God and Son when experience work of Spirit

3.      Water

So who has followed me 100% so far?
probably not many of you
in fact trying understand Trinity like trying hold water in hands
actually can’t do it.
Is problem of Trinity
            a lot easier if simpler
            lots people tried make it simpler and more understandable
one author reading suggested that every heresy about Trinity is when people tried make Trinity more understandable
forget the gift on the Trinity
and gift
            not understandable
]           reminds us that God is mystery
            God will not conform to our ideas about how things should work
            remind us that God is multifaceted
                        – not reduce God down to Father or Son or Spirit
            reminds us this doctrine is incomplete
best we can do from evidence of scripture
            particularly gospels and words Jesus
            own experience
In the end – not whole story
Trying to describe something that is indescribable

4.      lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi?

There is a saying comes from early church
"lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi",
            As we Worship, so we Believe and so we Live[1]

for early church fathers (and I guess mothers)
how we worship shapes what believe (what we believe about God, God’s world and ourselves)
what believe determines how we live our lives
put a lot store on interplay between theology and worship - liturgy
why?
If my worship is to a God who is judge sitting in heaven
            judging who gets to go to heaven and who goes to hell
            God who is angry with sin of world
            will come to believe that that is nature of God
            life will be lived in fear trying appease that God and earn my way in.
            and/or try become agents of Gods righteous anger
                        venting that anger on all we deem to beyond God’s compassion
                                    over centuries that included Jews, Muslims,             Gays
If my worship is to a God who is passionate about this world and those who live in it
so passionate that God the Son came among us as one of us
sign of God’s passion and commitment
died to release us from all that binds us and blinds us
prevents us from living with same compassion and commitment to all creation
then I will come to trust in that God and in grow in loyalty to that God
            which is what belief really means
with the help of God the Spirit seek to live as one who is  filled with God’s passion for this world and those who live in it
seek to join with God in God’s ongoing work of bringing life and redemption to all creation
As we Worship, so we Believe and so we Live

5.      God in relationship

so how our belief about the Trinity shapes our worship is really important
            will shape what we believe about God
            it is shaping how we live our lives
number theologians suggest that when get too hung up on mechanics Trinity
mechanics are important
but they are not the point
miss one most beautiful truths of Trinity
miss that at heart of Triune God is profound relationship of mutuality, care respect, loyalty, generosity
miss that Son came out of that relationship
            offering that same mutuality, care, respect, loyalty, generosity to all creation
Through the Son – Jesus
we are invited into that same relationship
through the ascension we are drawn into the heart of that relationship
which we might describe as love
Go on to say that whenever we come together in worship
we do not invite God here

God is already here
God is the one inviting
we are invited into heart Trinity
The Triune God invites us into the mutuality, care, respect, loyalty, generosity that is God
and in doing so we are to become people marked by that same mutuality, care, respect, loyalty, generosity
When we gather
we gather in heart of God
God - St. Augustine of Hippo described as
God is the Lover, the Beloved and the Love between
We are invited into the heart of mystery
to be shaped by that mystery

So how has your worship over the years shaped what you believe about the Trinity?
How have you lived that out?
As we are invited into the heart of God who is the Lover, the Beloved and the Love between
            what is it like to be invited into the heart of mystery?

Let us pray
In this new season
may you know
the presence of the God
who dwells within your days,
the mystery of the Christ
who drenches you in love,
the blessing of the Spirit
who bears you into life anew.[2]



[1] Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/catholicbychoice/2011/02/catholics-and-worship-as-we-worship-so-we-believe-and-so-we-live.html#yyGhsBl76G3FZcQe.99
[2] http://paintedprayerbook.com/2012/05/29/trinity-sunday-drenched-in-the-mystery/#sthash.hyKnGxok.dpuf

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