Preacher: Catherine Staziker, Cathedral Reader (2006-2010)
18 May 2008, 10:30 (Trinity Sunday)
God the Father,
source of all being and life,
the one who created us and the one for whom we exist.
God the Son,
who took our human nature, died for us and rose again.
God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ know in the world.
The Trinity of Love, Father Son and Holy Spirit.
The activity of liturgical seasons seems to have been particularly frenetic this year with Easter falling so early. The Wilderness, the Ride into Jerusalem, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, the Holy Spirit, followed closely on the heels of Christmas, the Epiphany.
Today, the Feast of the Holy Trinity, marks the beginning of Ordinary Time. A day when we’re not thinking about events and activities in the life of our Lord. But a day for being and resting in God. A day to concentrate on the name, the character, the essence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and his relationship with us, his disciples.
God the Trinity, in his strength and love, offers us a relationship of love and equality. A relationship which involves our participation, our hearts and souls and minds.
The Father loved us so much that he created us. He loved us to so much that he sent his only Son to us to share our humanity. He loved us so much that he died for us. But that was not the end. He then sent his Holy Spirit down to us so that we might live and breathe and have His being in us.
So, firstly there was God our Father. The God of the Old Testament. The God of love, creation, promise, protection, rebuke and forgiveness. God our Creator. He made us in His image. In the image of Love. He gave us our identity. This was our beginning, the Love of God. In the words of Julian of Norwich:
And so I saw full surely
that before ever God made us,
he loved us,
in which love we have our beginning.
But God was more that this. He sent us his only Son, Jesus Christ, to share our humanity., Through him He shows us another aspect of his character. Through Jesus relationship to humankind, God shows us the depths of his heart through His own suffering. God suffered alongside Jesus and suffers alongside us.
But there is yet more, because these descriptions of the Father and the Son are in the past. God IS still more than just the Father and the Son. When Jesus was dying, he promised to send his Holy Spirit down to us – The Holy Spirit whom we celebrated last week. It is the Holy Spirit who makes the Father and Son alive to us today, real and active in our lives. Jesus had to leave us so that the Spirit could pour into our hearts and give us understanding – FAITH, Not certainty, but FAITH. Doubt is OK! It is often the vehicle through which Faith is strengthened!
We are baptised in the name of the Trinity:
in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is a lot packed into this name, the Trinity!
Through our Baptism, we take the name of God and the nature of the Trinity. Our nature is to be the same as God’s – we are made in his image – LOVE.
Parents and Godparents make a big commitment on our behalf when we are baptised. It is their responsibility, but also our responsibility, to help the newly Baptised reach their divine potential and to help them to strive to mirror the image of God. The love of God is all about promoting life in all its fullness.
In our Baptism, we sign up primarily to Christian LOVE. This is our story. This is what we believe.
When Hebe was born, she took her family’s name. Today, she also receives her Christian name, a name chosen by her parents, a name which means the personification of youth. TODAY she is baptised in the name of God, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and takes THAT name also. So like the rest of us Hebe, Take this name and, through it, tell the world and show everyone what God is like. Show the world by your life and example, Christ’s body lives in you and in us through the Holy Spirit. We are agents of that Holy Spirit. We have taken Christ’s name and must show what he is like. In the words of Theresa of Avila
Christ has no body, hands, feet, eyes on earth but ours.