In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today is Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is the dynamic name we use for God in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Three in One); We also use: Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.
The attributes of Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer also describe our participation in divine activity.
As Jesus says, "I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." -John 14:20 (Three in One).
This signing ourselves with the cross is an ancient embodied way to invoke the Trinity.
We start with God the Father, the head, the creator.
Then we move to the Son, drawing ourselves to our heart - to the very flesh of the matter. This is incarnation.
Then the Holy Spirit wraps us as a shield. It is a flow of energy, that sustains and guides us.
This signing recognizes that we are also holy temples.
Crossing ourselves with the sign of the Trinity allows us to bless ourselves.
That is pretty empowering.
It honors both our God and ourselves at the same time.
And it reveals that deeper truth that we participate in the life of God, that God is not some static and distant being, but is a way of life. Jesus is the way.
We are building a dwelling place within ourselves for the way of Jesus to be revealed.
In the letter from Peter that we heard a few weeks ago, he says that we “like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house.” We are building a dwelling place for Jesus in our hearts. This is the “new creation” that Pauls speaks of.
And God sees that it is Good.
…like from our reading of Creation this morning.
God creates… and it is Good.
And as humans we have also been given the incredible gift of creation. We are not like other mammals. We have mastery and skill as the psalmist sings:
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
What is man that you should be mindful of him? *
the son of man that you should seek him out?…
You have made him but little lower than the angels; *…
You give him mastery over the works of your hands; *
We have the potential to be that new creation and to build a new creation. We have the ability to forgive, to repair, to heal others through the choices we make and the grace of God, living into the spirit.
That’s where the incarnation (the heart of the matter) comes into play; in our own spiritual paths.
Humans are uniquely prepared to offer forgiveness.. Jesus models that in the incarnation and in his sacrifice to forgive the sins of the whole world.
Forgiveness is an ultimate gift. It is the “giving for” the space of the other. It is the great letting go that we can do to benefit others. It is redemptive in repairing the breach between one another and ultimately bringing us into the awareness that we are connected to God.
AND Then Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on the disciples to share the power of forgiveness: the gift of sustenance. We are sustained and sustain others when we allow ourselves to be in the flow of the Holy Spirit.
The sign of the cross reminds us that we live in that flow - and that we are shielded by a power greater than ourselves.
When Bishop Glasspool was here, she preached about the many languages that the Spirit spoke to us in on that day of Pentecost.
She reminded us that the Bible as a religious book is unique in that it has been translated into as many languages as possible. We are, as Jesus instructed, working to “make disciples of all of the nations.”
Richard Rohr, Franciscan priest and prolific author, reminds us that the breath of God, the Spirit that moved over Creation in the beginning is also something that is shared in many traditions. The Jewish name for God YHWH mimics breath. He uses this as instructional for engaging in meditation.
In his many years of teaching Christian meditation he has encountered others who shared with him the breath and the word for God are shared across languages.
Allah, the Muslim name for God means breath.
In Hawaiian, HA is also God.
God is the sustaining breath of life
We are inside of God and not apart…and are uniquely created (as created creatures) to offer forgiveness (redemption) and love (sustenance) to those around us. These offerings can transform our way of life and relationships.
The Trinity is our Godhead in which "we live and move and have our being." -Acts 17:28 It is not a static fixed form. It is our icon of activity. The Trinity calls us into life-giving behavior.
Let us teach our children about the blessing of The Trinity which calls us into relationships of mutuality and love. Let us strive to help others in our community move from the idea that the Trinity is an old fashioned esoteric and theologically “heady” concept that most of us can’t grasp.
Let’s help show that the Trinity is a way of being in the world. It is embodied.
God is present with us now in these dynamic modes of giving and receiving.
Remember: in the reading today, Jesus says “I am with you until the end of the age.”
In the name of the Father and Of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.