This week’s reflection on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity comes from a 2012 sermon from Rev. William A. Doubleday of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Kisco, NY:
“How easy it is to come down hard on our fellow human beings in the name of God the Wrathful Judge of some particular Biblical passage, forgetting completely that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” How tempting it sometimes is for us to demean or reject Jews, or Hindus, or Muslims, or Buddhists, or Baha’is, or the adherents of other religions, ignoring the reality that God the Creator, who was and is the God of Abraham and Sarah, as well as the God of Moses and the Prophets, has been revealing God’s self in the world in countless ways throughout all of human history. How easy it can be to be taken up by the excitement of spiritual or religious experience in the present day, and in the process fail to hold up one’s own experience of the Holy Spirit to the light of the Gospel or to the extensive revelation of God in Holy Scripture or in the History of God’s Church. Again and again, the Doctrine of the Trinity has represented and has provided a healthy caution against and corrective to the experiences of excess, incompleteness, and intolerance within the theology and the communal life of the Church.
The Doctrine of the Trinity is one of the ways the Church has systematically reminded itself of the totality of God, a totality which we as individuals, in a particular time and place, can never fully grasp, comprehend, or even imagine – a totality which is indeed still coming into being as it will for all time. The Book of Revelation speaks of the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End. The great Roman Catholic theologian Teilhard de Chardin wrote in the 1950’s of a vision of an evolving – processive -universe – in which, having been created by God, we are individually and corporately in movement towards completion – towards perfection – towards the omega point of creation. God’s purposes for us, as well as our own lives, are as yet unfolding.
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If our idea of God is judgmental, we will be judgmental. If our idea of God is exclusive, our lives and churches will likely be exclusive as well. If our idea of God is distorted or self-serving that probably tells us something about ourselves as well. If our idea of God is Trinitarian – rooted in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit– our lives and faith are likely to be more Eucharistic, more servant-like, more communal, more cooperative, more balanced, more whole, more relational, and hopefully, at least a little more comprehensive, and hopefully a little more complete..
Truly God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; the One who Creates, Redeems, and Sustains Us; is the Very One Who Created Us, Loves Us, Calls Us Into Loving Relationship with God and with One Another – both on this Trinity Sunday and all the days of our lives.”