Sermon Reflection for Sunday, June 16, 2019 | Respectfully submitted by Brenda Worley
Father’s Day in the secular world, this Sunday was Trinity Sunday for the Church. On this first Sunday after Pentecost we remember the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sanctifier. The One in three and three in One!
The concept of the Trinity is a complicated one. Many have tried to explain it using such analogies as water that has three forms…ice, liquid, and steam. This analogy falls short in that the three forms are not present at the same time. The Trinity is not to be understood except through faith. God must be encountered and held in relationship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This does not happen through the mind, but through the heart.
The Trinity is most often referred to using the masculine forms of father and son. For some people, people who have been damaged and abused by a fatherly (sometimes motherly—and in today’s reading from Proverbs wisdom of God is referred to in the feminine. ) figure, this is difficult and becomes a stumbling block for their spiritual growth. As much as one might accept and respect these pastoral concerns, however, we don’t want to miss how we might be drawn into the mystery of God as noted by the prophets and sages of old or even a 14th century German Mystic. Meister Eckhart describes the Trinity as follows:
“Do you want to know what goes on in the core of the Trinity? I will tell you. In the heart of the Trinity the Father laughs and gives birth to the Son. The Son laughs back at the Father and gives birth to the Spirit. The whole Trinity laughs and gives birth to us.”
God delights in us and we are called to delight in him. God desires joy, new life and a full life for us. We are born for and of relationship and are drawn into the “three-in-one” dance.
In honor of Father’s Day, Mother Mary shared two stories reported by a young woman as examples of godly love that inform us of how we are called to love. First, the custom of the woman’s father sitting with her on the porch and sharing a Popsicle during thunderstorms. He taught her not to fear the storms. The second was the story of how her father would react when she hurt herself and was crying. For example, she might stub her toe on the bedpost and her father would come to comfort her. He would speak to the bedpost, “How dare you hurt my little girl!” and then begin kicking it and collapse in the floor in mock pain. She would giggle and completely forget her own pain.
Such is the godly love that is life changing and can bring comfort and joy to everyone who encounters it. God the Trinity sustains us even in fear and suffering. God is always with us. We are called to share our own stories of faith with others. Stories of fathers (or mothers) who have shared the love of God with us and brought us to a relationship with the three. Or is it the One!